NCF 2015 Assessment
The objectives of the NCF 2015 are that all learners must accomplish certain set of agreeable fundamental standards in the acquisition of knowledge, competencies and understanding in their learning outcomes. In order to achieve the set objectives of the curriculum, the evaluation and assessment roles are critical. This is due to the reason that assessment plays a number of important roles (Cohen 210, 2006). These purposes include facilitating the success of learners derived from studying in school through offering vivid nature of their progress and achievements in a manner understandable to the learners, the teachers and the concerned stakeholders in the school. The aim of this essay is to discuss how the assessment approaches in the NCF connect to the teaching-learning nexus.
Specifically, the functions of assessment in the NCF 2015 are to: facilitate the exploitation and demonstration of various learners ability, provision of important, corrective and timely responses for guiding the learning and teaching in classrooms and enabling the exhibition of talents and accomplishments by different means and timing. In addition, assessment enables the fair presentation of opportunities to learners besides encouraging participation in the setting, monitoring and meeting of higher learning targets (Cohen 210, 2006). This gives the learners a chance to monitor their own progress. Moreover, information on curriculum evaluation and quality assurance is provided through assessment. Nationally recognized certificates are awarded to learners upon appropriate placement following the diagnosis of past experiences and knowledge.
Lastly, it is only through assessment that the progress and accomplishments of the learners are identified by the different stakeholders of the learning process. The NCF 2015 gives provision to a comprehensive approach to assessment. This approach is aimed to be of use and importance to the country, the schools, teachers and most significantly the learners. In a bid to achieve this objective, various considerations have to be made by the assessment players with respect to practice and policy (Deschenes et al 13, 1994).
For instance, the assessment ought to be flexible, objective, multi-sourced and inclusive. For this reason, three strategies have been recommended by the NCF 2015, on the basis of criteria outlined by the results for Grades 1 to 9. Firstly, the NCF 2015 recommends the assessment as learning whereby the manner in which students learn is contemplated by them. Through this assessment there is reflection, regulation and monitoring of the learning progress by learners.
Secondly is the assessment for learning whereby learning is encouraged and supported to facilitate advancement and accomplishments. Adequate support is offered in this assessment in order to mitigate the difficulties in learning while at the same time the strengths and weaknesses of the learners are revealed to them. Thirdly, the NCF 2015 recommends assessment of learning, whereby information with respect to all that has been learnt is provided. It is at this approach that examinations and tests are issued for the sole purpose of certification and reporting. From these recommendations, it is evident that the processes of evaluation give reactions about the learning process to the concerned stakeholders, particularly, the parents, schools, teachers and individual learners (Deschenes et al 13, 1994).
In addition, the curriculum is followed in the process of assessing the learning and teaching. Every level of learning will be subject to reporting and monitoring with respect to acquisition of the desired knowledge, competencies and understanding by the learners. Assessment at School LevelIn order to enable a change from the assessment of learning to assessment as and for learning, the NCF 2015 fosters constant assessment at the classroom level. Through continuous classroom assessment and as the students keep learning, the manner in which teaching is done is modified. This system permits the incorporation of the ‘assessment-feedback-remedial’ cycle hence rendering the system important to both the learner and the teacher.
In fact, instead of having reliance ultimately on terminal tests and examinations, the NCF 2015 firmly encourages the continuous assessment during the nine year duration. The school and the parents therefore expect reports and feedback regarding the performance of the learners from the classroom teacher who, in this case, is mandated with the responsibility of assessment. The assessment for and of learning is the major focus in this level, although assessment as learning is also looked at in this case (Goldstein 14, 2004).
Primary School Readiness Evaluation in Grade 1
With respect to the affective domain, this evaluation enables the prior identification of remedial and special needs in learners. This evaluation facilitates allocation of longer time for remedial action which actually affects the learning process in later grades. The development of a valid and reliable Primary School Readiness Evaluation is therefore crucial at this stage.
Diagnostic Assessment in Grade 3
The attainment of learners is determined by the stakeholders and the teachers through a diagnostic assessment in Grade 3. The assessment focuses on literacy and numeracy whereby support is given in terms of remedial time for learners in need. On the other hand, those without special need for remedial support are expected to achieve a minimum prerequisite of functional literacy and numeracy (Goldstein 14, 2004). Through this assessment, learners are supported to achieve particular expectations in grades while the teachers are in a position to offer feedback and strategize the teaching and learning process that achieves those grade expectations. Similarly, the development of a valid and reliable diagnostic assessment is pertinent in this case.
National Level Assessment
This assessment will be consistent with the NCF for the Continuous Basic Education. The Continuous Basic Education proposes two assessments. These assessments include the Primary School Achievement Certificate (PSAC), whose assessment is done after Grade 6. Specific subjects that determine the awarding of the PSAC are also assessed and evaluated. However, the non-core subjects that do not necessarily count in the grading of PSAC will be introduced gradually and would be assessed and evaluated at the school level. This assessment would therefore be regulated by the Mauritius Examination Syndicate. The second assessment at the national level would be National Certificate of Education (NCE), whose framework would be provided for by the NCF Grades 7-9 for the assessment of all learners in Grade 9 (Hilbert 1, 2008).
The establishment of a National Assessment Framework is proposed by the NCF 2015 for various purposes. These include ensuring the consistence between Nine-Year Curriculum assessments, learning and proper pedagogical practices. In addition, the framework will outline the criteria and standards upon which the progressive achievements of the leaners are measured. This will ensure there are fairness, reliability and validity in these measures for a holistic curriculum development.
Furthermore, the framework facilitates accurate observance of the learners and schools performance as well as ensuring national consistency in certification and assessment (Hilbert 1, 2008). Lastly, this framework would facilitate effective development of curriculum and ensure certification is aligned to the National Qualification Framework. The major aim of the framework and the continuous Basic Education is to enable equitable chance for every learner to develop in a growing environment. An enabling environment therefore, is the basis for the successful actualization of the NCF 2015.
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COMMONWEALTH SECRETARIAT (2012). Commonwealth Ministerial Working Group on the Post-2015 Development Framework for Education – Commonwealth Recommendations for the Post-2015 Development Framework for Education. United Kingdom.
DESCHENES, C., EBELING, D. and SPRAGUE, J. (1994). Adapting Curriculum and Instruction in inclusive Classrooms: A Teacher’s Desk Reference. Institute for the Study of Developmental Disabilities, University of Indiana. Indiana.
GOLDSTEIN, H. (2004). Education for all: The globalisation of the learning targets. Comparative Education40 (1): 714.GOVERNMENT OF MAURITIUS AND UNDP (2006). National ICT Strategic Plan.
Available at www.gov.mu/portal/sites/nictsp1/NICTSPReviewed3F.pdfHILBERT, P. (2008). Secondary education: HSC professional: A mix of academic and vocational training. Express, 5th August: 9. Mauritius.