1.1 Background of the Study
Assessment is not a recent origin; some scholars contended that assessment of all kinds originated from the Garden of Eden. The reason advanced from such claim in the hypothesis that God created man in the garden and issued some rules. Adam and Eve disobeyed one of the rules and ate the fruit of knowledge (Genesis 3 v 1 – 7).
Assessment was also practiced by ancient Greek Roman, Egyptian and Chinese in our Traditional African society, it was practiced but every informal tell the advent of Western Education, formal assessment in our education system was introduced with the advent of external bodies like the royal society of Art (RSA) West African examination council or internal bodies like classroom teachers. The result of such assessment in test or examination had serious academic implications for the teachers and the students. The taught, strictly according to the syllabus and the students did everything within their reach to ensure success as it was a passport for better life and better job. Nothing was spared to achieve better academic continuous assessment in educational system.
In response to the live and cry of the generality of the people ills associated with one slot assessment examination, the federal Ministry of Education (FME 1981) introduced as one of its component features, the use of continuous assessment has been a subject of discussion in our educational circles in Nigerian. This, it was hope, would eventually call students’ tendency toward examination fraud.
Guskey (2008), advocates using assessment as a means to determine how well a teacher has taught a specific concept or skills. The assessment process can inform the teacher about what the student have learned and which concept and skill have to be re-taught. In order to improve achievement, the assessment process has to be an essential ingredient of the overall instructional process. After a teacher teaches a specific concept or skills, the need to assess their students, mastering the lessons instructional objectives. Akpan (2007) mentioned that continuous assessment of students progress as an educational innovation in Nigeria took off in 1982 after the revision of National Policy of Education Unit in (1981).
Continuous assessment according to Ezewu (2007) is a systematic and objective process of determining the extent of students’ performance and all the expected change in his/her behaviour from the day he / she enters upon a course of study, and a judicious accumulation of all pieces of information derived from this process with a view of using them to guide and shape the student in his / her learning from time to time to serves as bases for important decision about the child.
Educational assessments was evaluation liberalized by using them in whole or in part on continuous assessments of progress of the individual child on this continuous assessment take cognizance of the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of human behaviour.
Bassey (2009) pointed out that, the principal tools for this type of evaluation was the pen and paper test and examination. Students were therefore indirectly encourage to memorize a collective of fact to be used doing examination. The summative evaluation does not take into serious considerations the unique role of the local condition of the students to be tested such condition include student health, school setting, the socio-economic factor of the children and the culture of the community.
In an attempt to operationalize the policy division on continuous assessment, the federal ministry of education on continuous assessment, the federal ministry of education through it educational evaluation unit of schools and educational services division mounted a strong campaign to workshop organized on continuous assessment the federal ministry of education has produced the first handbook ever on continuous assessment in Nigeria. This ninety three pages manure is indeed an invaluable contribution to the debate on continuous assessment.
Today the concept of continuous assessment has re-achieved in most of our educational institution. In most of the facilities of education in universities, continuous assessment is now taught as a major part of course on measurement and evaluation. As a result pre-service teacher are now being proposed to put into practiced the concept of continuous assessment. In service course organized by various professional academic organizations now include continuous assessment as a vital component of school schedules lectures. The students in secondary schools are beginning to carry in massage home to parent about the possible innovations involved in the introduction of continuous assessment into the school system.
There is no doubt therefore that continuous assessment is important enough to attract the attention of anyone interested in education. While continuous assessment as a modern educational concept is important enough to demand discussion in its entirely, focuses on direct continuous of the students academic performance in schools.
Biology is taught in the Nigeria school system. Attempt is therefore made to discuss the feasibility or otherwise of continuous assessment of biology within the entire school subject paying particular attention to Biology Education.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In view of the fact that effective implementation of the policy on continuous assessment in Biology in secondary schools hangs on the teachers. It could therefore mean that performance to determine the level of a (child) student academic attainment. In this case the Biology teachers should be equipped with the necessary took to enhance proper assessment. The extent to which is done is not known, sometime the teacher will collect money from the students and score him/her what they done merit, with other loop holes, hence repeated cases of in proper assessment of a student. This research is therefore an attempt to find out the extent to which continuous assessment policy is implemented in Biology in secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.