Mass tests for pupils to begin today

Jan, 18th 2021 – An estimated eight million primary school learners will this morning start a national assessment. The week-long assessment is being administered by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC). KNEC acting CEO Mercy Karogo says the assessments will last till Friday this week.

According to KNEC, starting this morning, Grade One to Three learners will be assessed on fundamental literacy and numeracy, that is English, Kiswahili and mathematics activities.

At the same time Standard Five and Six learners will be assessed on the grasp of English, Kiswahili, mathematics and science, while Standard Seven learners will be assessed on their understanding of all subjects examined in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.

Dr. Karogo said, “For all subjects or learning areas, assessment items will be drawn from previous classes/grades and Term One of the current class/grade.”

GPE FUNDING PLAN

This program is part of the 1.5 billion Sh Global Partnership for Education(GPE) boost, towards the government’s schools reopening preparations.

Under the plan, KNEC will stimulate head teachers on the administration of the tests and also upgrade the portal to carter for extra classes.

After administration of the tests, KNEC will verify and confirm the scores uploaded by the teachers and conduct data analysis and translate. The results will also provide a report on the findings and the test results which will then be shared to stakeholders.

COVID-19

According to a report from World Bank, several months os school closure due to the pandemic would result to learning loss.

The report read, “With the spread of the coronavirus, the learning crisis will be even deeper ,the baseline from which we need to accelerate and improve learning is now even more challenging.”

When reopening school, teachers were given a set of guidelines to follow to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Among the was ensuring that there are enough water points in the school in addition to wearing of masks.

The schools have also been urged to use open spaces for learning.

ASSESMENT GUIDELINES

The guidelines on how to conduct tests are that head teachers download and print the assessment tools from KNEC website and make them ready a day before the actual test.

The guidelines also require that school heads ensure that they have necessary materials to download and print the material.

Karogo said, “And those facing challenges with printing assessment material and uploading scores should coordinate with their respective sub-county directors of education for assistance.”

She added that schools without facilities are advised to carry out printing in nearby facilities such as technical training institutions and universities.

The tests are also to be stored carefully. Karogo said, “To ensure security and safety, the printed assessments tools should be stored in the head teacher’s office in a lockable cabinet.”

FUNDS

The government has given out sh11 per child to facilitate the administration of the tests aimed at evaluating learners’ understanding in various subjects.

However, primary school heads say that the money may not be enough. They have pleaded with KNEC to send additional money to facilitate the exercise.

According to Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) chairman Nicholas Gathemia, “We hope that the council will send us something as they did during Grade Four and Class Eight assessments that took place last year.”

He added, “Yes we received some money last year, but we hope that KNEC will send schools something additional from this kitty.”

He added that the schools will need more money and will likely struggle if not supported.

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