Knec clears path for Grade 4, Std 8 exams

Class Eight pupils at Sosiani Primary School in Eldoret town on October 12, 2020.
 

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The other learners in primary school will be assessed upon their return to establish their preparedness to continue with classwork in a crash programme aimed at recovering lost time.
  • Class teachers will administer the tests, which will be based on content the learners covered before schools were closed in March.

After six months of fun, it is back to reality for Grade Four and Standard Eight learners as schools prepare for nationwide tests next week. 

Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has released guidelines for the tests that will be managed by headteachers.

The other learners in primary school will be assessed upon their return to establish their preparedness to continue with classwork in a crash programme aimed at recovering lost time.

While every school will be responsible for the administration of the tests, the government has also received support from the Global Partnership for Education.

“It is important to establish the entry behaviour of learners after the reopening of schools,” Knec acting chief executive Mercy Karogo says in the guidelines.

The agency has told sub-county directors of education to instruct headteachers to download the assessment tools, administer, score and upload the results to its portal by November 6.

Class teachers will administer the tests, which will be based on content the learners covered before schools were closed in March.

Learning gaps

The teachers have been instructed to allow learners to complete the tests irrespective of the time allocated. Scoring will begin immediately and headteachers will provide the guides.

“The assessments are formative and as such, teachers are expected to communicate the outcome to individual learners and parents at the end of the assessment,” Dr Karogo said.

At the national level, the outcomes of the assessments shall be strictly for purposes of reporting on possible learning gaps and the effect of the pandemic on learning with a view to inform policy on interventions that need to be put in place.”

The tests will not be used for ranking or other comparison of learners or schools.

Education experts say long absence from class leads to learning loss.

Schools have been closed for seven months and though some have been offering online classes, many children, especially those in public institutions, have gone without any form of curriculum instruction.

When Knec assessed Grade Three learners, headteachers faced challenges downloading and printing the tools.

Buy tanks

Many teachers also got the whole process wrong by administering it like a traditional examination, including invigilators.

The government has not given schools money to meet the cost of downloading, printing and uploading at a time many institutions have used their resources to buy tanks and soap.

For special needs and disabled learners, the council will provide appropriate tools following the stage-based pathway.

Std Seven and Eight will be assessed in all subjects while Std Five and Six will tackle mathematics, English, Kiswahili and science.

Grade Four pupils will be assessed in English, mathematics, Kiswahili, environmental studies, science and technology. 

dmuchunguh@ke.nationmedia.com