Learners in Grades Three, Four, and Five will begin participating in end-of-grade national assessments administered by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) as of today.
On Saturday, Knec posted the assessment tools to the competency-based assessment (CBA) portal for head teachers to download.
The tests that will take place in the lead up to Friday will have a significant impact on the lives of the students.
Since learners in Grade Three were assessed in integrated areas from October to December last year, they will only be assessed in mathematics and English activities this year.
The assessment in Grade Three is the first one that students will face at the national level as part of the competency-based curriculum (CBC).
It is given at the end of lower primary and is designed to assess the learners’ learning progress before they move on to upper primary.
The assessment results are used to identify curriculum gaps and weaknesses for action by other agencies such as the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and the Teachers Service Commission.
Teachers at the school level will administer and grade the tests.
Unlike traditional national examinations, the exercise, according to Knec, should be carried out in a regular classroom setting.
The assessment will not be used for placement and will not determine whether or not a student will progress to Grade Four because the transition is automatic.
Knec has directed primary school principals to upload the results to the portal by February 21, 2022.
While Knec insists that the tests should not be as high-stakes as national exams, many parents and schools are taking no chances because of their implications.
“Continue encouraging your child to revise thoroughly,” a message to parents by one school in Nairobi reads.
Mr Patrick Kibet, a parent, stated that his son spent the weekend studying for the exam.
Headteachers have previously expressed dissatisfaction with the difficulty they had in downloading and printing the assessment tools.
In a recent interview with the Nation, the CEO of the examinations body, Dr David Njeng’ere, explained that teachers could download the tools and then upload them onto the digital devices available at public schools, while others use LCD projectors for the learners to access the materials.
He revealed that the Education Ministry is collaborating on a project to install internet in 1,000 public schools in outlying areas.
Teachers will also assess students in grades four and five. Learners will be assessed in 12 learning areas under the regular curriculum.
Math, 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 are among them.
Intermediate level learners with special needs 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 Grade Four and Five assessment is the second part of their grade-level assessment.
The first component was the practical and project assessment, which the students completed between October and December of last year.
The assessment will have a greater impact on their lives than the one in Grade 3 because it will be included in the cumulative total at the end of their primary education in Grade 6.
Learners will complete three continuous assessments in Grades Four, Five, and Six, according to the CBA framework.
Each level’s maximum score will be 20%, with the remaining 40% coming from a summative assessment at the end of Grade Six.
The current Grade 5 students and those who will begin Grade 6 in April will take the final exam in November of this year.
Knec will save the learners’ performance in the assessments, and the final tally will be used for placement in junior secondary schools beginning in January of next year.