Kurebwa and Nyaruwata
Greener Journal of Educational Research Vol. 3 (7), pp. 336-344, September 2013
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 @yahoo.com
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
Keywords: Assessment, teacher competences, assessment problems.
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