Mathematics Education and Continuous Assessment in Ghanaian Senior Secondary Schools: Continuous Assessment of What?

  • J. A. Fletcher

Abstract

The last decade or so has seen major developments in the policy and practice of assessment in this country. The introduction of the criterion-referenced assessment scheme at the primary school level as well as the use of continuous assessment at almost all levels of education in Ghana reflects fundamental new conceptions of what assessment is for. The old notion of tests as something, which will sort young people into social roles they will occupy in society, is being replaced by reformed rhetoric, which asserts multiple purposes of assessment. At one level, it seems there has been growing acceptance, at least among educationists, which the primary purpose of assessment must be formative, that is, the information it gathers should be used to improve the educational process. At another level, emphasis is being laid on the summative function of assessment whereby a judgment of some kind is passed on an individual at the end of some course of work. This article examines the use of continuous assessment in mathematics at the senior secondary level in Ghana and argues that the present arrangements in the assessment of students' achievement in mathematics at the senior secondary level are not substantially different from the traditional modes of assessment which they are meant to replace.

(Mathematics Connection: 2001 2: 7-11)
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