Uganda National Examinations Board Journal of Education and Assessment is a double blind, peer-reviewed journal accredited with the Ministry of Education and Sports Department of Higher Education and produced two times a year and aims to promote academic scholarship in education and assessment and related fields. Analytical articles in the form of original theoretical and empirical articles, debates, research viewpoints, review articles and book reviews in English will be considered for publication. Nationally, only contributions of paid-up members of UNEBJEA will be published. International authors are welcome to submit articles for review but page fees must be paid before publication.
VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1 (ABSTRACTS)
PREDICTIVE POWER OF SCHOOL-BASED ASSESSMENT SCORES ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN JUNIOR SECONDARY CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION IN SIX SUBJECTS IN NIGERIA
Abubakar Nura Maishanu (National Open University of Nigeria, Lagos)
This study notes that School-Based Assessment (SBA) scores are increasingly used for high-stakes decision-making, which makes it imperative that judgements have to be as fair and reliable as possible. Using a large national database from six states in Nigeria, this study explored the influence of predictive power of school-based assessment scores on students’ achievement using hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Study results revealed that teachers are predominantly more prepared to conduct SBA in their schools. However, teachers’ attitudes towards SBA scores was found to vary, ranging from positive to negative. SBA English Language and Mathematics were found to have a greater capacity to predict performance in JSCE English Language and Mathematics than all the other subjects. The difference in achievement between students was significant for all schools. For Integrated Science, the sample was limited to only students who had sat JSCE and were preparing to sit SSCE. SBA was considered a good measure in the six subjects. The length of time that the teachers spent assessing and teaching the subjects was likely to predispose them to certain ways of thinking that led to higher achievements. SBA can only be a good measure if teachers paid attention to quality assessment.
TEACHER IMPLEMENTATION OF CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT AND LEARNER’S ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN BLANTYRE, MALAWI.
The study examined problems of implementing continuous assessment in secondary schools in Blantyre. Findings revealed that problems of implementing continuous assessment in the study area include : lack of well trained teachers, CA is costly in terms of instructional materials, time and energy, lack of clear manuals and guidelines, large class sizes, and poor keeping of up to date records. There is problem of coordinating results when a student is transferred from one school to another. The amount of work involved is too much on the part of the teacher. It is therefore recommended that there should be regular workshops for teachers and experts to look into teacher’s workload and also to help them develop pools of test items in order to attain the set objectives. There is also need for continuous assessment appraisal and seminars to update at all times, the knowledge and skill of teachers. Adequate financial support by government to the schools towards the realization of the set objectives of continuous assessment will be a good solution.
SCHOOL-BASED ENGLISH LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT AS A HIGH-STAKES EXAMINATION COMPONENT IN TANZANIA: TEACHER PERCEPTION
Peter Hezbon Mwera (The Open University of Tanzania)
This study points out that there have been mixed views from various stakeholder groups since the introduction of the new assessment in Tanzania. However, there have been scanty studies on the appropriateness of this new assessment. The SBA initiatives impose great challenge to the perceptions of teachers and students. For example, in a certificate-dominated culture such as Tanzania, teachers mainly serve as providers of knowledge, and students as the recipients. This study adopted a descriptive survey design where both surveys and interviews were used to collect data. The study findings revealed that the difference in teachers’ perception of the effect of SBA on their teaching practices is significant. When Teacher perception was compared based on schools where the teachers perform their professional function, it was discovered that the difference in perception is significant. Teachers were of the opinion that School Based English Language Assessment has positive effect on students learning. In the new SBA component, teachers are supposed to take up the roles of both teacher and assessor, assessing their own students’ work and providing constructive feedback for students to improve learning. It was further found out that SBA hands over much ownership and autonomy of the learning process back to students by promoting students’ skills in self/peer assessment. The study recommended that teachers irrespective of school should have access to in service training so as to equip the teachers with necessary skills that will prepare them for smooth conduct of School Based English Language Assessment in schools.
EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE FACTORS AND PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KAMPALA, UGANDA.
Richard Ssekabembe (University of Nairobi)
Aloysius Byaruhanga Mwesigwa, PhD (Mbarara University of Science and Technology)
This study investigated examination malpractice factors and performance of students in selected private secondary schools in Kampala, Uganda. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative techniques of data collection and analysis. The study findings revealed that malpractice factors do have a significant influence on performance of students. The main contribution of this study is the proof that school factors are a powerful mediator in the relationship between malpractice factors and performance of students. Findings further revealed that cheating in examination makes the student to keep climbing the academic ladder without adequate preparation for the next-level. This results in accumulation of deficiency which leads to avoidable underachievement. Such individuals become architects of bribery and corruption and continue to perpetuate most of the evils in the society. Individuals who live by cheating in examinations are not likely to attain their potentials in skills acquisition. This is because the required initial knowledge is absent which makes human capital formation an impossible task. It is recommended that: effective counselling services should be enhanced in schools to assist students acquire techniques of effective study habits. Government through UNEB should produce an examination ethics code of conduct and have it distributed to all schools in the country. The school management should pay attention to use of effective continuous assessment techniques in the school system.
ADMINISTRATIVE FACTORS INFLUENCING TIMELY COMPLETION OF GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP (MASTERS AND DOCTORATE STUDENTS): THE CASE OF GRADUATES SUPPORTED BY RUFORUM GRANTS IN AFRICA
Moses Waswa RUFORUM (Makerere University )
Drake Patrick Mirembe, PhD (Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences).
Peter Kalinda, PhD (Mbarara University of Science and Technology)
The study examined the administrative factors influencing timely completion of postgraduate students supported by RUFORUM grants in Africa. The University administration factors examined included: presence of an accessible supervisor; incentivizing supervisors; relationship of supervisor to the student; communication between supervisor and the student; experience and expertise of the supervisor in the field of study of the student; number of students assigned to a supervisor; duration of review of proposals by supervisors/examiners; delay in returning comments by external examiners; and, inadequate guidance from the supervisor to the student on research matters. A cross-sectional survey research design was adopted and data was collected using a closed-ended questionnaire and semi-structured interview guide. Data collected from 241 respondents was subjected to correlation and regression analysis using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to establish significant variables. Results indicated the major university administrative factors influencing completion time was the small number of supervisors for both Master’s and doctoral students. This warrants the need to give attention to increasing the number of supervisors supervising the graduate students.
RETENTION OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND OTHER SPECIAL NEEDS IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING IN UGANDA
Grace Lubaale, PhD (Senior Lecturer, Dept of Development Studies, Kyambogo University).
John Baptist Okech (Senior Lecturer Faculty of Special Needs & Rehabilitation Kyambogo University)
This study investigated the internal structural and external factors that affect the retention of students with disabilities in higher institutions of learning in Uganda. The study adopted both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews. Model-SEM was constructed to identify the effect of social, environment, management and family factors on the retention of students with disabilities in higher institutions of learning. The calculated path coefficients showed that social, management, and family factors significantly influenced the retention of students with disabilities in higher institutions of learning in Uganda. The influence of environmental factors was insignificant but was retained in the model based on the theoretical arguments. Some higher institutions of learning are not well equipped to provide adequate support services to meet the needs of the reportedly increasing numbers of students with disabilities.
GUIDANCE SERVICES AND STUDENTS’ RETENTION IN SELECTED SCHOOLS IN NANGABO SUB COUNTY, WAKISO DISTRICT, UGANDA
Tonny Muzaale, PhD (Uganda National Examinations Board)
This study assessed the relationship between guidance services and students’ retention in schools in Nangabo Sub County, Wakiso District. The investigation was based on school guidance and counselling programme in line with the current changes. The study employed a cross sectional research design and both quantitative and qualitative approaches were adopted. The research results indicated that all the selected guidance services characteristics had significant effects on student retention. Despite the importance attached to guidance and counselling services by policy makers , the programme has not been considered relevant to the extent to which it is implemented in the schools in line with Ministry of Education and Sports. The results revealed that participation in career guidance activities need to be heightened in Nangabo schools. The study highlighted the need for school management to promote and support career guidance services. Career guidance participation was suggested as a way of helping students acquire the knowledge, values, skills and awareness necessary for effective career development.
STUDENTS’ PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN THE CORE SCIENCES AT UGANDA CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION
Florence Obong Capuc(Uganda National Examinations Board)
The study investigated Students’ proficiency in English Language and academic performance in the sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) at UCE with a view of suggesting ways for improving performance in the sciences. The chief examiners of the science subjects at UCE have always reported that the candidates fail to read and interpret questions correctly. The candidates also fail to express themselves well, and therefore fail to answer the questions correctly resulting in many candidates performing poorly in the sciences. The poor performance has persisted over the years. The study therefore established the relationships between students’ proficiency in English Language and their academic performance in the sciences at UCE. The study employed ex-post facto and correlational designs. The data was analysed quantitatively. The study findings revealed that students’ proficiency in English Language has a high positive significant correlation coefficient to their performance in the sciences —Physics r = (0.71); Chemistry r = (0.70) and Biology r = (0.72). The conclusions drawn from the study is that students’ proficiency in English Language has a strong positive significant correlation coefficient to their performance in the sciences.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION PRACTICAL ASSESSMENT AND LEARNING OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS AT UGANDA ADVANCED CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION
Thomas Kagoro(Uganda National Examinations Board)
Ruth Ndagire(Uganda National Examinations Board)
Mary Khwaka Cajo(Uganda National Examinations Board)
The study examined the extent to which the Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education (UACE) Entrepreneurship Education Curriculum of 2012 and the practical examination paper promote the practical teaching and learning of entrepreneurship skills at Advanced level. To address these issues, a cross-sectional survey research design was used. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview guides and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) guides. The study found out that the majority of the schools met the syllabus requirements for practical Entrepreneurship Education paper 3 and most of the major entrepreneurial skills were being catered for in the business clubs, field trips and attachments which are useful in the world of work and business. The Entrepreneurship Education practical paper promotes the participation in the school business activities, which may foster the development of skills among students for use in their personal businesses. The study more importantly helps students to practice the skills learnt, besides this being a requirement for the practical examination. A lot is learnt through the study projects done and yet it is not captured in the final assessment. There is therefore need to restructure Entrepreneurship Education exams format to have continuous assessment instead of having only summative assessment which does not consider what is gained from the practical experiences.
PERCEPTIONS OF EDUCATORS ON TEACHER – PARENT COLLABORATION IN THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN UGANDA
Jackson Egessa (Head teacher Global Harvest Secondary School)
This study evaluated the perceptions of educators on teacher– parent’ collaboration in the education of children with special needs in Uganda. Though the problem of teacher-parent collaboration in the education of children with special needs has been acknowledged, documented and discussed for decades, there is a lack of research from the voices of special educators on teacher-parent collaboration in the education of children with special needs. In order to address this gap, a comprehensive literature review of both print and electronic material was conducted by way of an exploratory descriptive qualitative study. Literature review was scientifically triangulated by statistical analysis of the responses collected from the respondents by interviewing special needs educators. The literature review highlighted different challenges facing teachers in their efforts to foster positive teacher-parent collaboration in the education of students with special needs. The scientific analysis of the interviews showed that parents, teachers and government played a significant role in order to make teacher-parent collaboration in the education of children with special needs successful. The efforts by stakeholders in this direction, however, have achieved mixed results in Uganda. The findings of this research highlight the existence of an urgent need to address structural and functional barriers that hamper successful teacher-parent collaboration in the education of children with special needs in Uganda.
HIGHER ORDER THINKING SKILLS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOCUS ON CHEMISTRY PAPER 1, 2 AND 3 OF 2017 UGANDA CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION EXAMINATIONS
Mauro Giacomazzi, PhD (Institutional Development Advisor Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education)
John Mitana (Principal Luigi Giussani Institute of Higher Education)
This study assessed the taxonomy of knowledge called for in the Uganda Certificate of Education examinations Chemistry. The study purely used qualitative approaches and the data was collected using Focus Group Discussions. The great majority of examination questions in chemistry paper1, 2 and 3 were found to require the students to mainly use their LOT skills than HOT skills. Most of the examination questions required the students to recall the memorized information and reproduce it, rather than try to apply knowledge as was the case with the practical parts of Chemistry paper 1. The average and poor student performance in Chemistry UCE examinations was attributed to poor attitude towards Chemistry; language barrier; and lack of instructional materials, poor syllabus coverage; early scheduling of examinations that reduces the time available for teaching by more than one month and so on. To overcome these, the study recommended that assessment should therefore be directed towards specific things into which learners can direct their thinking and learning rather than just engaging in memorising things. Teachers should, however, also avoid using the same questions that they asked in class during the summative assessments. The examinations should be set in such a way that the items span the whole range of the learning taxonomies that is to say; remember, understand, apply, analyse, evaluate and create, in case revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is followed.
James Musinguzi, PhD
(Executive Director Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre)
This study investigated the relationship between education and wildlife conservation in Uganda. Although attempts have been made to sensitize the citizens about the need to conserve wild life, illegal trade in wildlife remains a substantial threat to the survival of many species. In the past, efforts to address this trade have been primarily focused on law enforcement to prevent the poaching and illegal harvest of animals and plants, and trafficking of their parts, products and derivatives along trade routes, however these efforts have not yielded fruits in Uganda. Given the growing cases of illegal wildlife trade, Uganda ratified the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and committed itself to enforcement of its provisions. However, poaching for subsistence and commercial purposes prevails, particularly in the River Kafu basin, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Luwero, Kiboga and Lake Mburo ecosystem. Trade in game meat in Kampala exists and the clandestine sale of skins of CITES listed species such as cheetah, leopard, colobus monkeys and crocodile occurs in markets. The study adopted a descriptive cross sectional survey design, data was collected from UWA officials, communities staying around national parks and game rangers and analysis was done using structural equation modelling. It is recommended that the current wildlife law has gaps when it comes to education and conservation. There is a need for UWA and the sister bodies to promote conservation education and outreaches in communities given that the public disinterest in conservation affects the success of the environmental protection efforts.