Emmanuel Asuquo Edoho, (PhD) & Ekpo, Idongesit Moses
Testing and evaluation are viewed as the major instruments for holding schools accountable for the resources (human and financial) they receive. It provides feedback to all stakeholders in the educational sectors including the learners. The integration of the feedback from the evaluation processes gives more input into the teaching-learning process. Evaluation is classified into diagnostic, formative and summative according to use in classroom instruction. This paper examines what diagnostic evaluation is, its application in the Nigerian classroom situation and the challenges militating against its implementation especially in the mathematics classroom. Some of the challenges identified include lack of skills in constructing and administering diagnostic tests and interpreting the scores, large class sizes, poor record keeping culture, examination malpractice, low financial resources allotted to education and classroom activities and non consideration/inclusion of diagnostic period in the scheme/school calendar. Recommendations also made to the relevant stakeholders especially to the government and the training institutions toward the application of diagnostic evaluation and integration of results in the teaching learning process to enhance achievement of the objectives of mathematics education programme. The paper recommends regular capacity building for teachers to be fully abreast with the concept of diagnostic evaluation and its application in the classroom teaching. Improvements in the present infrastructure level in our schools to accommodate the increased number of students as well as incentives to the mathematics teachers are also advocated. It is believed that the integration of diagnostic evaluation into our mathematics teaching and learning would improve students’ comprehensive level, reduce students’ errors, misconceptions and provide timely mediation measures in achieving learning outcomes. It will also eliminate the inherent fears in students in the learning of mathematics.