THE Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) intends to introduce continuous assessments for primary school pupils from grade five to seven. ECZ director-general Michael Chilala said in an interview that the examinations body wants a 30 percent continuous assessment system to be introduced from grade five. “The pupils are expected to earn 10 percent per level starting from grade five.
The higher the percentage, the better the school a pupil will qualify to go to. “Whether to introduce a pass mark at grade seven is yet to be approved by Government,” he said. Dr Chilala said continuous assessments will improve pupils’ learning skills as well as make it easy for them to understand lessons. “The grade seven examination is valid the way it is.
Whatever innovations we do must not be costly to Government,” Dr Chilala said. He said when the continuous assessment system gains public confidence, the proportion will be adjusted upwards. Meanwhile, ECZ deals with close to a million examination candidates annually. Dr Chilala said last year, there were 61,000 grade nine external candidates, 285,000 internal candidates, 128,000 general school certificate candidates and 15,000 teacher education learners.
He said the huge number of candidates calls for the engagement of over 4,000 markers every year. “The total cost paying 4,000 markers every year is K47 million and as we speak, we have outstanding balance of K15 million owed to markers last year. It will be settled by July or August this year,” he sai