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The Over Reliance on Standardized Testing in Cameroon Implications for the Primary School Classroom

Journal: International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development (Vol.3, No. 6)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1248-1251

Keywords : Education; High stakes; public examination; assessment; learning outcomes;

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Mandated external assessment remains the main framework for the assessment of pupils, teachers and school administrators' effectiveness in Cameroon given that there is no national framework to assess students' learning. This exploratory study set out to examine the high stakes attached to Selection and Exit Certificate Examinations in Primary schools in Cameroon and their implications for the curriculum, instruction, accountability, students' learning and teachers' behavior. The study was carried out in 12 Primary Schools. Data were collected using questionnaires and interviews and analyzed thematically. The results from the study indicated that over testing and the misuse of tests are damaging to primary school learners in Cameroon. Also, high stakes testing in Cameroon ignores the complexity of child development as ten year old children are subjected to two public examinations within a month. Similarly a majority of the children can't keep pace with the school curricula. Unfortunately, between 80 and 150 hours of instructional time are lost to test preparation, and a de facto obligatory curriculum reduces instruction as children are compelled to read and answer questions in pamphlet rather than text books. Also, teachers' authority and independence are reduced. Non cognitive abilities and soft skills are neglected. Meanwhile, results of these public examinations do not correlate with outcomes of recent cross national assessment involving Cameroon. This study calls to question, the validity and reliability of both examinations. The study recommends that the Common Entrance and First School Leaving Examinations should be abolished and replaced by a portfolio assessment for grade six learners, a nine year basic education program should substitute the existing system, and an over hauling of the basic education curriculum. Kenneth Ngu Foncha | John Teneng Awa | Tah Delphine Berka "The Over - Reliance on Standardized Testing in Cameroon: Implications for the Primary School Classroom" Published in International Journal of Trend in Scientific Research and Development (ijtsrd), ISSN: 2456-6470, Volume-3 | Issue-6 , October 2019, URL: Paper URL:

Last modified: 2019-11-23 14:10:35