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Assessment Syllabus and the Validity of Agricultural Education

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Chief Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Ministry of Health, BOTSWANA

Res. J.Educational Sci., Volume 3, Issue (5), Pages 1-9, June,1 (2015)


The decline in the performance of students in their final secondary examinations coupled with the emerging trend of teaching students for the sole purpose of passing examinations brings to question the validity of the entire examination system. This study was concerned with the degree to which public examinations in Botswana can be said to be valid in measuring syllabus-based content and cognitive skills deemed by the society to be essential for the development of individual and the society. The study used a survey inferential design to collect and analyse syllabus and test-related information from related documents. The population of the study includes Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education agriculture examinations papers from 2007 to 2012. SPSS was used to analyse data using correlation analysis to test all the hypotheses at .05 level of significance. The content and skills in the mock tests portrayed more of the BGCSE examinations than the syllabus probably because teachers in senior secondary schools rely on past examinations papers during teaching and assessment. Agriculture mock examinations for almost all the years are significantly more valid with BGCSE examinations as the criterion than with the curriculum content as the criterion The study concludes that teachers ought to be provided with an in service training on test development. Schools should have quality procedures to discourage teachers from using past examinations as a source for setting school examinations but rather base their teaching and assessment on the instructional objectives of the syllabus.


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