Linking classroom assessment approaches to learners’ livelihood context in Tanzania: The disjunction between policy and practice

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International Journal of Novel Research in Education and Learning


Assessment is fundamental to students’ learning as it influences learner’s knowledge, skills, and competences. According to the Tanzanian educational policy, the central focus of assessment approaches is to facilitate the building of capability for students to apply the learning outcomes adequately in diversified contexts. This study examines how the nature, modality, and contents of the assessments carried out in secondary schools in Tanzania have been playing the role of testing knowledge and skills relevant to learners’ life. The semi-structured interview was purposively conducted to a total of sixty subject teachers (Agricultural Sciences, Biology, and Civics) and 10 academic teachers in ten ward secondary schools in Mvomero district to assess their views on how formative assessments are being conducted. Besides, focused group discussion was held with secondary education leavers who work in informal sectors in Mvomero district, Tanzania. The findings indicate that there was a disjunction between policy and actual classroom assessment practices. The assessment approaches were conducted not for testing the mastery of learning outcomes but conforming to examination demands. The livelihood knowledge and knowledge and skills such as critical thinking, innovation, creativity, and mastery of diversified livelihood skills were not given due weight. The practical examinations were mainly for students to retrieve the scientific facts rather than orienting towards solving real-life problems. It is, thus, recommended that entrepreneurial assessment approaches should be adopted to bring the school knowledge to reality.


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Tanzania, Education, Classroom assessment, Livelihood competences, Secondary school, Policy