Staff Reporter 

Schools will implement the Continuous Formative Assessment (CFA) in classes PP to three beginning this academic session, according to the Royal Education Council (REC).

REC in collaboration with the education ministry is organising a training of trainers (ToT) workshop for 201 teachers in Gelephu to ensure teachers teaching Dzongkha, English and Mathematics are professionally prepared to implement CFA as an alternative to examinations.

A press release from REC states that recognising the critical roles of teachers in CFA learning the education ministry prioritises enhancing teacher capacity by informing on the concepts, process and protocols related to CFA.

A dzongkhag level orientation workshop on CFA would follow the workshop.

The Bhutan Education Blueprint 2014-2024 recommends strengthening formative assessment practices in schools. The 19th national education conference held last year recommended phasing out written examinations in primary school from this year. The conference also proposed instituting an effective alternative assessment system to enhance learning outcomes and performance.

CFA is a process to provide immediate feedback during instruction to improve teaching and learning practices. Facilitators were expected to identify learner’s needs and gaps to make necessary adjustments in instructions and interventions.

Unlike the traditional grading system (percentage grading), CFA, grades the students on the quantity and quality of their performance, which means the students are graded with standard grading systems such as beginning, approaching, meeting, or exceeding.

“Children are expected to move to the next higher grade progressively in this system of assessment. Besides, teachers have to provide remedial classes to students failing to manage the curriculum expectations,” the press release stated.

The current emphasis of the education system in the country—quantity and width learning—rather than quality and depth are affecting the quality of education. The examination-based education, the REC  press release was until today linked with improving the quality of education.

In the process of enhancing education shift to competency-based learning and formative assessment, the REC in collaboration with the education ministry integrated CFA in five primary classes’ subjects, developed CFA guidebook, and ToT package.