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A Literary Review on Testing in Secondary Levels in Bangladesh

  • Date Submitted: 06/25/2011 09:43 AM
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Literature Review      
       
The present testing systems in the secondary level of our country is severely criticized by some teachers and scholars. A BRAC Research Report “Effect of BRAC-PACE Training on English Language Teachers of Rural Non-Government Secondary Schools” by Arifa Rahman, Md. Mahbubul Kabir, Rifat Afroze contains a trained teacher’s opinion on testing in Bangladesh. He says “Although this method and the text book both focus on developing the language skills of English, it wouldn’t help students do well in public examinations. More and more students are leaning towards coaching centers. As a result, effective application of CLT is not possible in the class.”   So, the testing encouraging the coaching system which is a curse for our education.

In two other studies on ELT projects at the secondary/higher secondary level, Rahman (1999) and Quader (2001) both point to the presence of strong resistance to innovation and change not only from the end-users (the teachers) but also from a variety of stake-holders (head teachers, senior teachers, parents and even students themselves). The examination boards too resisted stoutly by refusing to bring about meaningful changes to the test papers. Whatever changes were implemented was cosmetic, not at all substantial – thus perpetuating the negative backwash effect of examinations on teaching and learning.
The backwash effect of examinations has a strong influence on teaching and learning. This consumes all learning/teaching energies in formal education and although assessment is professed to be skills-based, SSC tests still remain related to content and amenable to memorization. Recently, 40 marks for grammar has been introduced in the secondary school state exams, thus opening up the possibility of bringing back traditional grammar-based teaching into the classrooms.
Md. Kamrul Hasan, Ph.D (2004) claims that Present curriculum sees continuous assessment as central to the evaluation system. This is...

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