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< [[Media: School education is the necessary foundation for strengthening human resources that has been deemed central for the National development. Since the time of our independence, many committees and commissions persistently emphasized upon the free and compulsory education in our country. Among various measures that have been adopted to expand the provisions for realizing the goal of Universalizing elementary education, the National Policy of Education had made several recommendations to improve the quality of school education. The recommendations include the child-centered approach improvement in the quality of education through reforms in the context and the process of education, school facilities, additional teachers, laying down minimum levels of learning, and emphasis upon continuous and comprehensive evaluation. This paper examines the concept of continuous and comprehensive evaluation, its need and importance, role of teachers and its implementation in schools with an empirical support.

Recommendations of National Curriculum for Elementary and Secondary Education in Reforming Evaluation Practices

The continuous and comprehensive evaluation was initiated based on the recommendations to reform evaluation practices in school education by National curriculum for elementary and secondary education – a framework (1988). Therefore it is desirable to examine the view points presented in he framework with respect to evaluation. The framework emphasizes the following.

    1. Defining minimum levels of learning at all stages of education while evaluating the attainment of children
    2. Attaining mastery level in al competencies.
    3. Broadening the scope of learners’ assessment by way of including the assessment of psychomotor skills and socio-emotional attributes.
    4. Aiming at qualitative improvement in education through valuation.
    5. Using grades instead of marks
    6. As feedback mechanism for the benefit of teachers, learners and parents providing timely corrective measures for improving attainment level of students.
    7. Using various tools, techniques and modes of evaluation such as paper, pencil test, oral testing, observation schedules, rating scales, interviews and anecdotal records, individual and group evaluation methods at different stages. Maintain comprehensive student portfolios based on observational and situational tests.
    8. Reducing undue emphasis on paper pencil tests in evaluation process.
    9. Using more and more informal means of testing to reduce the anxiety and fear of the examinees.
    10. Laying more stress on informal and child friendly methods of testing.
    11. Recording of evidences regarding psychomotor skills related to co-scholastic areas such as work experience, art education and physical education.
    12. Preparing a profile of the growth and development of every learner.
    13. Every school may do planning of a detailed scheme of evaluation in view of the minimum learning outcomes coupled with content.
    14. Evaluation of the key qualities like regularity and punctuality, cleanliness, self-control, sense of duty, desire to serve, responsibility, fraternity, democratic attitude and sense of obligation to environmental protection.
    15. Participatory and humane evaluation.
    16. Continuity of evaluation through periodical assessment of learning to be utilized for diagnosing the areas of difficulty and arranging remedial instruction.
    17. Demystification of evaluation process for making it transparent by taking parents and community into confidence.
    18. Communication of the evaluation outcomes in a positive manner.
    19. Developing competence for self-evaluation keeping in view the maturity level of children.

Concept of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation Evaluation is a process of determining the extent to which the objectives are achieved. It is not only concerned with the appraisal of achievement, but also with its improvement. As testing evaluation is also concerned with identification of learning experiences and educative environment to produce changes in the learner’s behaviour. It involves information gathering, information processing, judgment forming, and decision-making. In recent years, there has been a growing concern for improving the quality of achievement of all students at elementary level. In this context the NPE, 1986 recommended that minimum levels of learning (MLL) be laid down at each stage of primary education, and that steps be undertaken to ensure that all students achieve these minimum levels of learning. As a follow-up, the MLL for each subject form class 1 to v were stated in terms of competencies. Each competence constitutes an expected performance target that lends itself to criterion testing which is continuous and competency based. It becomes essential for the teachers to adopt a scheme of continuous evaluation that helps in confirming whether or not he learners have mastered the competencies or not. A competency also becomes a criterion to organize teaching-learning process, and at the same time to assess the students. It is a very well known fact that usually evaluation is done to measure the knowledge and understanding outcomes. The evaluation of skills and higher mental abilities are neglected to a great extent. The evaluation of non- cognitive aspects like attitudes, appreciation, interests, personal and social qualities of students are seldom carried out. The report of Minimum levels of learning and the national curriculum frame work of school education have specified certain personal and social qualities that need to be developed in children. They stress the point that the evaluation should be comprehensive in nature, where in all learning experiences pertaining to scholastic, co-scholastic and personal and social qualities are assessed. The comprehensive evaluation should involve the summative assessment of cognitive abilities, as well as the assessment of health habits, work habits, cleanliness, cooperation, and other social and personal qualities through simple and manageable means of tools. The comprehensive evaluation not only helps in checking all the standards of performance in both scholastic and co-scholastic areas, but also in decision making regarding various aspects of teaching-learning process, promoting the students, increasing quality, efficiency, and accountability. Continuous and comprehensive evaluation necessitates the use of multiple evaluation techniques and tools in addition to certain conventional ones. This is required because different specific areas of pupil growth need different types of evaluation through certain techniques. The teacher has to select the most appropriate technique for a situation and develop the necessary tools for the same, and decide upon the periodicity and timing of evaluation. Scenario of evaluation practices in schools Certain empirical studies conducted at Regional level in schools (Rao Manjula, 1998; 2001; 2002) and other studies reported reveal the following:

  • Evaluation practices carried out in schools are still conventional in their nature and purposes.
  • Continuous assessment in not followed systematically in those schools where teachers are trained in in-service programmes.
  • Competencies are not assessed through planned procedures of evaluation.
  • Assessment of wrong things or the same range of things too often is carried out. One doesn’t get a fair and realistic picture of what students have actually mastered.
  • Undue reliance on recall is found, rather than enabling the students to transfer and apply what they have learnt to different concepts and problems.
  • Formative feedback is not provided. Learning difficulties are not identified.
  • The personal and social qualities are totally ignored due to lack of awareness of what to be evaluated and how to evaluate.
  • Remedial instruction is not provided.

Some of the tensions and constraints influencing teachers’ evaluation practices are i) lack of knowledge and skills related to evaluation ii) lack of facilities and time iii) expectations of the Head teachers and the colleagues to complete the syllabus in time iv) the social requirement of information and v) external accountability. Furthermore, the in-service programmes planned for the teachers have inadequate inputs in evaluation and do not create avenues for practical exercises during the training sessions. Implementation of continuous and comprehensive evaluation The role of continuous and comprehensive evaluation becomes very important when our aim is to improve learners’ quality in the cognitive as well as in the non-cognitive domains. It would be reasonable to regard continuous assessment in the context of school as a continuous updating of teachers judgments about learners that permit cumulative judgments about their performance to be made. Some important points to be considered for implementing continuous and comprehensive evaluation are:

  • Careful examination of the course, and specification of competencies to be attained by the learners in terms of knowledge, understanding, application (analysis, synthesis, evaluation for higher grades) and skill performance.
  • Knowledge and ability to construct assessment tools that are criterion based appropriate for assessing the competencies.
  • Careful planning of the competency based teaching procedures. There should be congruence between teaching and assessment without which assessment would become distorted.
  • Comprehensive evaluation of competencies as well as personality traits and attitudes.
  • The maintenance of records.
  • Requirement of knowledge and skills of evaluation, commitment, and assistance to provide remedial teaching on part of the teacher.

Tools and techniques of evaluation

Evaluation of Scholastic areas

Area Technique Tool Periodicity Reporting
All the school Subjects Oral test

Written test Project work Practical activities Maintenance of Portfolios

Oral questions

Class work Question paper Unit test Assignments Diagnostic test

Every day after completing a competency or group of competencies

Monthly class test Unit test Terminal test

Using direct or Indirectgrades

Evaluation of co-scholastic areas and Personal and social qualities

Area Technique Tool Periodicity Reporting
Health Medical checkup for physical growth Norms of fitness used by Doctor Once in a year Health status
Physical Education Observation of activities Rating scale As per time table Direct Grading
Work Experience & Art Education Observation at work and activities Maintenance of Portfolios Rating Scale As per timetable Direct Grading
Social and Personal qualities

-Cleanliness -Obedience -Discipline -Co-operation -Regularity -Punctuality -Protecting environment -Truthfulness -Patriotism -Responsibility

Observation, Interview and Self reporting techniques (students’ diary) Rating scale, Checklist and Anecdotal Records Day to day observations by the teachers by determining criteria for each trait Direct Grading (once in every month)

How Does Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation Help a Classroom Teacher?

In sum, the continuous and comprehensive evaluation helps a classroom teacher in the following ways.

  • To identify learning difficulties in mastering certain competencies and the intensity of such learning difficulties.
  • To improve students’ learning through diagnosis of their performance.
  • To plan appropriate remedial measures to enable he students who have learning difficulties in mastering the competency.
  • To improve or alter instructional strategies to enhance the quality of teaching.
  • To decide upon the selecting of various media and materials as a supportive system in mastering the competencies.
  • To strengthen evaluation procedure itself.

Some Empirical Studies

In view of the existing evaluation practices prevalent in schools and based on the recommendations of NPE followed by he National curriculum framework for school education, it was considered necessary to develop a scheme of evaluation in order to improve the evaluation system. A school Based Evaluation scheme was conceived at implementing the idea of continuous and comprehensive evaluation in school situation by the unit of Department of Educational Evaluation and measurement, NCERT in Demonstration Multipurpose Schools of all RIEs in 2001. The project aimed at developing students’ achievement through continuous assessment, diagnosis and remediation, assessment in co-scholastic areas and personal and social qualities. Monitoring and supervision was another important component of the scheme that aimed at effective implementation of the scheme as well as for providing timely interventions for its smooth functioning. The head teacher and the teachers were expected to assume more responsibility and power to take initiatives to improve evaluation. The scheme also aimed at the involvement of parents in improvement of learners’ progress in both scholastic and co-scholastic areas. The scheme had a positive impact on learners, especially in improvement of personal and social qualities. The teachers were found to have improved their evaluation competencies. The teachers of DMS, RIE are continuing the scheme even though the project is completed, which is an indicator of successful impact of the evaluation scheme on parents, teachers and students. Conclusion If we wish to discover the truth about an educational system, we must look into its evaluation procedures. Examinations in their present form are not the real measure of students’ potential because they cover only a small fraction of the course content . They do not cover all the evaluation of all abilities. Nor do they provide for the application of multiple evaluation techniques which can assess the cognitive as well as the non-cognitive abilities of learners. Continuous and Comprehensive evaluation facilitates students’ effective learning as well as their all round development of personality with its multiple evaluation tools and techniques and corrective measures. It is utmost important to make continuous and comprehensive evaluation as an integral part of teaching and learning process to promote standards of school education.


    1. Rao Manjula P. (2001): Effectiveness of the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation Training Programme over the Evaluation Practices of Primary School Teachers – A DPEP Research Study in Tamil Nadu, RIE, Mysore.
    2. Rao Manjula P. and S.P. Kulkarni (2002): Development and Implementation of a School Based Evaluation System at Primary Stage in Demonstration School, RIE, Mysore.
    3. Government of India (1986): National Policy on Education, MHRD, Department of Education, New Delhi.
    4. NCERT (1988): National Curriculum for Elementary and Secondary Education – A Framework (Revised Version), Published at the Publication Department, Secretary, NCERT, New Delhi.
    5. NCERT (2000): National Curriculum for School Education, Published at the Publication Department, Secretary, NCERT, New Delhi.
    6. Rao, Manjula et al. (1998): Impact of SOPT Training Programme on the Classroom Practices of Teachers – A Study in Southern States, RIE (NCERT), Mysore.
    7. Ved Prakash, et al. (2000): Grading in Schools, Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, NCERT, New Delhi.]]