Learners in Grade Three, Four and Five will from today be engaged in end-of-grade national assessments administered by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).
Knec uploaded the assessment tools on the competency-based assessment (CBA) portal on Saturday for the head teachers to download.
The tests that will run up to Friday will have a quite significant impact on the lives of the learners.
Learners in Grade Three will be assessed in mathematics and English activities only since they were assessed in integrated areas from October to December last year.
The assessment at Grade Three is the first one learners will undertake at the national level under the competency-based curriculum (CBC).
It comes at the end of lower primary and is intended to appraise the learners’ progress of learning before they proceed to upper primary.
The outcomes of the assessment are used to identify gaps and weaknesses in the curriculum for action by other agencies like the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and the Teachers Service Commission.
The tests will be administered and marked by teachers at the school level.
According to Knec, the exercise should be carried out in an ordinary class setting unlike the traditional national examinations.
The assessment will not be used for placement and does not determine progress to Grade Four or not since the transition is automatic.
Knec has instructed primary school headteachers to upload the scores onto the portal by February 21, 2022.
Whereas Knec insists that the tests should not be a high-stakes affair like national exams, many parents and schools are leaving nothing to chance because of their implication.
“Continue encouraging your child to revise thoroughly,” a message to parents by one school in Nairobi reads.
Mr Patrick Kibet, a parent, said his son spent the weekend preparing for the assessment.
“I got him a private tutor to help with the revision before he goes to school for the assessment on Monday,” he said.
In the past, headteachers have complained about difficulties they encountered downloading and printing the assessment tools.
The CEO of the examinations body Dr David Njeng’ere in a recent interview with the Nation explained that the teachers could download the tools and then upload them onto the digital devices available at public schools as others use LCD projectors for the learners to access the materials.
He revealed that the Education ministry is working on a partnership to install internet in 1,000 public schools in remote locations.
Learners in Grade Four and Five will also be assessed by their teachers. Learners under the regular curriculum will be assessed in 12 learning areas.
These are: mathematics, English, Kiswahili or Kenyan Sign Language, science and technology, agriculture, music, art and craft, social studies, religious education, physical and health education and home science.
Learners with special needs who are the intermediate level will be assessed in communication, social and literacy skills, daily living skills and religious education, sensory motor integration and creative activities and numeracy, environmental and psychomotor activities.
The assessment for Grade Four and Five is the second part of their grade-level assessment.
The first part was the practical and project assessment which the learners undertook between October and December last year.
The assessment will have a greater impact on their lives than that at Grade 3 since it will form part of the cumulative total at the end of their primary education at Grade 6.
According to the CBA framework, learners will undertake three continuous assessments in Grade Four, Five and Six.
The maximum score at each level will be 20 per cent, with the remaining 40 per cent coming from a summative assessment at the end of Grade Six.
The current Grade Five learners and who will begin Grade 6 in April will do the final assessment in November this year.
Knec will store the performance of the learners in the assessments and the final tally will be used for placement in junior secondary, beginning in January next year.