The rolling out of the New Lower Secondary Curriculum in February 2020 by the government of Uganda came with several new changes. Some of these changes are seen in the way curriculum implementers (the teachers) and schools are expected to conduct assessment in line with this revised Lower Secondary Curriculum. It should be noted that in this new lower secondary curriculum, there will not be any beginning of term exams (B.O.T), midterm examinations (M.O.T), end of term examinations (E.O.T) among the many other kinds of examinations that schools have been conducting. Students will no longer be assessed as it is in the traditional old curriculum (100%). Learner’s highest score will be (3) and lowest (1). Focus is now on what a learner has achieved in terms of knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes but not mere accumulation of knowledge.
The revised Lower Secondary Curriculum has basically two categories of assessment and these are:
- School Based Assessment (SBA)
- End of Cycle Assessment.
What is the difference between School-Based Assessment and End of Cycle Assessment in the Lower Secondary Curriculum?
In the lower secondary curriculum, School Based Assessment is that kind of assessment that is conducted in school. These are assessments made by the teachers at all times as integral part of their work in the teaching and learning environment without waiting to do it at the end of term or year. These among others include marking learner’s workbooks, giving lesson activities, asking learners questions during the lesson, observing learners, conversing with learners and giving activities of integration. End of cycle assessment on the other hand is done at the end of a program. This assessment will be conducted by the national assessment bodies to sum up the progress of the learners for final grading.
What then is an Activity of Integration?
An Activity of Integration is a school based category of assessment that is conducted at the end of each chapter that a teacher has taught. If a teacher covers for instance 3 topics (chapters) in a subject in a given term, this means that at the end of each topic/chapter, the teacher should give the learners an Activity of Integration.
In other words we can look at an Activity of Integration as that last activity that aims at checking or evaluating the learner’s ability or level of achievement acquired in a given chapter or topic. This learner ability or level of achievement is evaluated in line with the competency as in a chapter. Check your subject syllabus and teacher’s guide for details.
How important is an Activity of Integration?
This activity of integration will contribute 20% of the total score of a learner at the end of the cycle (four year program) at school while the other 80% shall be obtained from the end of cycle assessment as explained above.
Besides the 20% contributions to end of cycle assessment, this kind of assessment is very important as it helps the teachers check the level learner achievement in a chapter, establish whether the learner is progressing well, and know how to help the learner by reacting to their learning demands in line with the competency.
Who and when do we set the Activity of Integration?
The activity of integration is set by the teacher facilitating a given subject. This activity comes at the end of each chapter or topic that has been taught. The subjects in the new curriculum differ in the number of chapters for example, CRE has just 3 chapters in S.1 while Chemistry has 9. This means that CRE will have 3 activities of integration while Chemistry will have 9.
Watch an overview of the new Senior 1 syllabus
How is activity of integration done by the learners?
Since it is set to check the level of achievement by the learner, it is done on individual basis not in groups. The records are then kept in an assessment grid. The highest score is (3) followed by (2) and the lowest is (1). We report level of learner achievement as competent learner (3), moderate learner (2) and basic learner (1).
As teachers facilitate the process of teaching and learning, there is need to ensure that learners are motivated towards achieving the learning outcomes in the different activities. This is because at the end of the chapters, there is a need to check the level of achievement through integration of all the learning experiences acquired in the chapter. Teachers should also use this activity of integration to find out how well their learners are learning and provide immediate feedback to them.