The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) released a schedule for national exams that will be given to learners in Grades 3, 4, and 5 and marked by the classroom teachers.
The tests are a component of the formative assessments that have been included in the educational system ever since the competency-based curriculum was introduced. The council makes the evaluation tools available for schools to download and use with their students.
In an effort to reduce printing expenses, Knec has now provided schools with two choices for accessing the assessment tools. The assessment tools will be accessible on the web in both PDF and digital versions.
In a circular to sub-county directors of education, primary school head teachers and heads of special primary school, the CEO of Knec, David Njeng’ere, said that the council will upload the assessment tools for the Kenya Early Years Assessment (KEYA) onto the schools portal on June 5, 2023.
The assessment is undertaken by learners in Grade 3. The tools for integrated learning assessment will be uploaded alongside those for Kenya Foundation Level Education Assessment (KFLEA) that is undertaken by learners with special needs who are unable to follow the regular curriculum.
The teachers will have up to August 11, 2023 to upload the scores on the Knec portal. The learners will undertake the written assessments for mathematics and English from October 2 to October 26, 2023.
The two assessments are not used for placement of leaners to the next level but are instead used to appraise the learners’ progress before they transition to upper primary. They are also intended to inform Knec, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and the Teachers Service Commission on the effectiveness of the curriculum. The scores from the KEYA and KFLEA also do not count for the cumulative final score at the end of primary school cycle.
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.
Assessment tools for the learners in Grade 4 and 5 will be uploaded onto the schools portal on July 10, 2023, with teachers given up to August 11 to upload the scores.
They will be assessed in agriculture, art and craft, music, science and technology, social studies, home science and physical health education. The written assessments for mathematics and English will be between October 2 and 26 2023. Other subjects will be agriculture, art and craft, science and technology, social studies, home science, physical health education, Kiswahili, Kenya Sign Language and religious education.
The Grade 4 and 5 assessments will account for 20 per cent of the final cumulative score of formative assessment at the end of Grade 6. It is however not used for placement since junior secondary schools (Grade 7, 8 and 9) are domiciled in primary schools.
“The tools will be then be given to learners in either print format, projected on the screen or written on the board. Depending on the format adopted, learners may write their responses on the question paper or on the writing materials provided by the school,” Dr Njeng’ere says in the circular.
This will be a relief to primary school head teachers who previously used to complain over lack of finances to print the assessment tools.
For schools that will opt for the digital format, individual learners will be required to log onto the portal using their respective assessment numbers.
“Upon logging in, learners will access the tools directly via digital devices such as the Digital Learning Programme tablets available in schools. Learners will be expected to give their responses on writing materials provided by the school,” the circular reads.
“Schools are encouraged to allow learners to access the tools directly using the DLPs or any other available digital devices such as desktop computers and laptops. This will help schools save on printing cost. Those who may have challenges with the direct access may opt for the PDF format,” Dr Njeng’ere said.