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Pupils to sit term-end exams next week — Knec

Schools closed in mid-March, three weeks shy to the end of the first term; learners sat no exams.

In Summary

• Learners in Standard 7 and 8 will be assessed in all the KCPE subjects.

• Those in Grade 4—the pioneer class of the CBC—will be assessed in mathematics, English, Kiswahili and environmental activities, science and technology.

Candidates sit KCPE exam
Candidates sit KCPE exam
Image: FILE

The examinations council has announced plans to assess all primary school learners beginning next week.

The assessments will double as an end-of-term test and determine learning gaps created by the seven-month closure of schools.

Schools closed in mid-March, three weeks shy to the end of the first term. Learners went home without sitting for the end-of-term exams.

The assessment will be conducted in all primary schools from Grade 1 to Standard 8. Learners in Standard 7 and 8 will be assessed in all the KCPE subjects.

Pupils in Standard 5 and 6 will be assessed in mathematics, English, Kiswahili and science. 

Those in Grade 4—the pioneer class of the Competency-Based Curriculum—will be assessed in mathematics, English, Kiswahili, environmental activities, science and technology.

Grade 1 to 3 will be assessed in English and Kiswahili and mathematics. Also to be assessed are learners with special needs and disability.

Learning losses

Research by Unicef shows that long periods away from face-to-face teaching leads to learning loss. Acting Knec chief executive Mercy Karogo has emphasised this fact in guidelines to head teachers. 

“It is therefore important to establish the entry behaviour of the learners after reopening of schools in order to give focused interventions to mitigate learning loss,” Karogo says in the document.

The assessment materials and tools will be accessed on the Knec online platform under the portal Knec LCBE Project, 2020 NASMLA.

In the guidelines, school heads have been ordered to register all their learners. Details to be captured are the class, name, year of birth, gender, choice of religious education, sign language candidates and disability. 

“The institutions will be required to capture and upload biodata of learners in Grade 1 to 3 and Standard 5 to 7 in their schools,” the document reads.

For KCPE candidates, the learners' biodata is already with the council and will be transferred for the assessment.

Those in Grade 4 will also be exempted from the registration process as they had undertaken a similar exercise last year, thus their data will be retrieved.

The assessments will act as a blueprint to improve learning outcomes. It will also help identify strengths and weaknesses in learner retention of specific subject content.

The council has also directed school heads to provide valid data to inform policy.

During the assessment, schools will be required to maintain a high level of discipline in enforcing the coronavirus protocols and safety guidelines.

Head teachers who will be responsible for fetching the documents and printing them will also be required to ensure security and safety of the printed papers and store them in a lockable cabinet.

As is the case during end-of-term assessments, teachers shall ensure there is no cheating in the classrooms.

Teachers will be required to confirm the attendance of learners, account for any absentees and brief them on the conduct of the assessment.

“In particular, teachers should inform the learners that the assessments are not examinations,” the document reads.

It also instructs teachers to allow all learners to complete the assessment regardless of the time limits imposed.

“They should collect the learners' work at the end of the assessment and return the materials to the head teacher,” the document reads.

At the end of the assessment, teachers shall be issued with the scoring guides by the head teacher to mark the tests. 

“Upload the learners' scores on the KNEC assessment portal and hand over hard copies of the score sheets and other related materials to the head teacher,” the document says. 

The head teacher will also be expected to keep the learners' assessment tools, hard copies of score-sheets and any reports arising from the assessment.