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Schools and Continuous Assessment

             One of the functions of a school is the certification of the individual learner under its embrace (Idowu & Esere, 2009). To effectively carry out this role, assessment of one kind or the other is a prerequisite. Assessment is a means whereby the teacher obtains information about knowledge gains, behavioural changes and other aspects of the development of learners (Oguneye, 2002). It involves the deliberate effort of the teacher to measure the effect of the instructional process as well as the overall effect of school learning on the behaviour of students. Assessment covers all aspects of school experience both within and outside the classroom. It covers the cognitive as well as the affective and psychomotor aspects of learning. Conceptually as well as in practice, continuous assessment provides feedback to children and teachers. Such feedback provides information which is used for purposes of improving on the child's performance or modifying the content, context and methods of teaching, as well as in making a variety of other decisions.
             Continuous assessment could be defined as a mechanism whereby the final grading of learners in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of learning systematically takes account of all their performances during a given period of schooling (Falayalo, 1986). Assessment in the cognitive domain is associated with the process of knowledge and understanding. The affective domain applies to characteristics such as attitudes, motives, interests, and other personality traits. Assessment in the psychomotor domain involves assessing the learners' ability to use his or her hands (e.g. in handwriting, construction and projects). .
             Another definition by Airasian (1991) describes continuous assessment as an assessment approach which should depict the full range of sources and methods teachers use to gather, interpret and synthesize information about learners; information that is used to help teachers understand their learners, plan and monitor instruction and establish a viable classroom culture.

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