The impact of continuous assessment on students' performance in UCE Biology in the central region, Uganda
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In the past, assessment has been primarily seen as a means to determine scores for certification. This is evident in the government white paper (1989). However, it is now believed that the potential benefits of assessment are much wider and vital at all stages of the learning process. This study examined the impact of Continuous Assessment on performance of students in UCE Biology in the central region of Uganda. It was carried out in three districts of central Uganda; Wakiso, Kampala and Mukono between February 2020 and January 2021.The study was both qualitative and quantitative guided by an experimental research design involving 316 respondents selected from 19 schools using random sampling technique. Data was collected using questionnaires filled by students of Biology in S.3 and S.4 about the nature of assessment techniques used in their schools in Biology. Directors of studies of the schools provided UNEB Biology results for the past three years. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) and Microsoft excel. The study found out that more schools in the central region (53%) use Continuous Assessment compared to those that use non Continuous Assessment (47%). It was also found that there is no significant difference in the percentage number of students who have positive attitude towards Biology in schools that use either Continuous Assessment or non Continuous Assessment. It was further established that students in schools that use Continuous Assessment performed better in UCE Biology exams than students in schools that do not use Continuous Assessment. It was concluded that the use of Continuous Assessment has no significant impact on students’ attitudes towards Biology. However, use of Continuous Assessment improves performance of students in UCE Biology exams. From the conclusion, it was recommended that the Ministry of Education and Sports should set policies and regulations that advocate for the use of Continuous Assessment strategies in secondary schools in Uganda.