Educational practice must be conducted within the confines of assessments in order to elevate teaching and learning (Pellegrino, 1999). Evidence gleaned from the literature suggests that assessment, especially assessment of management practices, has an effect on how educators teach and, consequently, how students learn (Obe, 2018:16). In terms of sampling, five primary schools from a pool of 21 primary schools in Nkomazi West Circuit in the Mpumalanga province were selected purposively due to their high level of compliance in the evaluation of assessment processes. With reference to key informant interviews and discussions, this study draws on the experiences of five primary schools in Nkomazi West circuit in terms of the management of assessment processes, opportunities, procedures and challenges. It is from the five primary schools wherein key participants were selected, from which six participants per school were selected. Observations guided by the researcher were used to validate field survey results and evidence from the school management teams in the five selected primary schools.
The study findings indicate that although educators are expected to nurture critical thinking skills in their pupils/students, this is often not mirrored in the management of assessment and teaching and learning practices. This study discovered that for management processes in schools to be effective in promoting the specified goals of the fundamental school programme, greater recognition should be given to the influence of assessment on teaching and learning, the understanding of which may arguably play a crucial role in introducing changes that may promote the cognitive processes and thinking skills desired in our schools and classrooms.