A study of the procedures used by teachers in assessing the performance of primary school pupils in Westlands division of Nairobi province
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It is generally believed that educational evaluation is the process used in determining the effectiveness of teaching thereby making evaluation part and parcel of the curriculum at both the planning stage and the curriculum that is operational. It is through formative evaluation that the teacher can discover the deficiencies and successes in the intermediate versions of a new curriculum. Evaluation is an integral part of the teaching and learning process focusing on the measurement of students' achievement by the use of a variety of techniques. The study is mainly concerned with the procedures used by teachers in assessing the performance of their pupils in primary schools. It also tried to find out the frequency and usefulness of assessment, marks and the level of teachers' preparation to assess the primary 8-4-4 curriculum. Lastly, the study examined the problems teachers face in assessing their pupils. The sample of the study consisted of teachers taking upper classes and their headteachers in Westlands Division of Nairobi province. Ten schools were drawn randomly from the twenty (21) schools in the division. Only five teachers, randomly selected in each of the ten schools, together with the headteachers of the same schools, were involved in the study, making a total of sixty respondents. The data was collected by use of a questionnaire, an interview schedule and an observation schedule. The data collected was then analysed manually and by computer and the results presented in tabular form as frequency distributions and percentages after each item. The major research findings of the study showed that some of the teachers N28 (56 percent) lack in-service training in assessment of specific subject areas, although the majority N39 (78 percent) had attended general in-service training on the 8-4-4- primary curriculum. The majority N37 (74 percent) of the teachers use a variety of procedures of assessment such as: oral questions, observation, written tests, and quizzes. However, projects, essays, and practical work are not popular. Furthermore, the teachers face problems in assessing the affective and psychomotor domains because of large class sizes, overloaded curriculum, too many lessons and lack of facilities. From the findings, the researcher concluded that teachers recognize the importance of assessment and conduct formative evaluation by using a variety of techniques while trying to prepare their pupils for summative evaluation, conducted by the Kenya National Examinations Council (K.N.E.C.). The necessary recommendations were made by the researcher and are summarized in Chapter Five (5) of the study. Finally, the researcher gave suggestions for further research topics on assessment methods used in primary schools.