How can we determine if a competency-based education approach is working? The African Curriculum Association and the KIX Africa 19 Hub explore relevant assessment tools

Our third session of the realities of competency-based education (CBE) review and reform examined approaches and tools to assess and examine CBE. Facilitating the workshop, the African Curriculum Association (ACA) introduced and overviewed the complete cycle of the constructive alignment model.

ACA’s overview of the constructive alignment model

To complement the theory-based discussion,  Mr. Blessings Chabikwa, Education Research Officer at the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, shared Zimbabwe’s experience in competency-based learning assessment by providing specific case studies. For example, on trade testing, assessment “is done when the school system certifies that the learner is ready. The school will then identify certifying boards for trade testing."

Figure 2: Presentation on Zimbabwe’s experiences in competency based-curriculum

Country experiences from Uganda and Kenya also provided “the space...for different ideas to be suggested or be critically analyzed and be reflected upon” according to Sekelekele Heqoa, a Science subject specialist at the National Curriculum Development Centre of Lesotho.

Encouragingly, another participant from Lesotho, Bonnqe Talone, a Subject Manager at the Examinations Council of Lesotho, reflected that the Council is “currently developing assessment frameworks to support CBA at secondary education level” and will “use information acquired in these sessions to improve our products.

Post-event follow-up discussions continued on Kopano where Olive Mbuthia, Deputy Director of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development shared that the competency-based assessment framework in Kenya has included  “lots of work on retooling teachers' countryside”. Ms. Mbuthia emphasized that in these large classroom contexts, “teachers need strategies such as utilizing peer assessment strategies” that “minimize assessment of individual work”. Designing “authentic assessments” and consistently utilizing rubrics can support strengthening of assessment tools.

The third workshop is a part of the recently completed six part CoPs on the Foundations of Educational Qualities. To see the full recording of the workshop, click here.

To find out more about the CoP, checkout summaries for the first, second, fourth, fifth and sixth workshops. Also see our digital repository to access resources used during the CoP.  

To learn more about the KIX Africa 19 Hub, follow our activities on Facebook and Twitter.

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