Greener Journal of Educational Research

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Kurebwa and Nyaruwata

Greener Journal of  Educational Research Vol. 3 (7), pp. 336-344, September 2013

 ISSN: 2276-7789 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 051413610


Assessment Challenges in the Primary Schools: A Case of Gweru Urban Schools


*Dr. M. Kurebwa, Dr. L.T. Nyaruwata


Senior Lecturers, Zimbabwe Open University.



*Corresponding Author’s Email: mkurebwa


Taking cognisance of the importance of assessment in schools, this research sought to investigate the problems teachers incur in carrying out the assessment process. The research assumed that teachers encountered some problems during assessment and that teachers’ knowledge on assessment was limited. Given this background, the researcher chose to target primary schools in Gweru urban. The study adopted a qualitative interpretive research methodology. The purposive sampling technique was used to sample 12 schools, 8 teachers, 2 Ministry of Education officers, 2 ZIMSEC officers, 6 head teachers of schools in Gweru urban, 3 teacher focus groups and 1 college lecturer focus group. Data was collected over 6 months through focus groups, individual interviews and document analysis. Data analysis was conducted by transcribing verbatim audio interviews and the results were cross checked with the participants. The findings that emanated from this study revealed that assessment in the primary schools was bedevilled by a number of problems. These included lack of teacher competences to carry out assessment, teacher’s use of summative assessment more than formative assessment and lack of resources. It also emerged from the study that high teacher/pupil ratio, absenteeism of pupils and low teacher morale all contributed to assessment problems in the primary schools. The study recommends that the teacher’s college curriculum should expose teachers to a variety of assessment skills. Furthermore, the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture needs to regularly provide staff development programmes on assessment for teachers who are already in the field as well as reducing teacher pupil ratios. Schools need to provide resources so that assessment is effectively implemented.
Keywords: Assessment, teacher competences, assessment problems.

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