Learners in Grade 4 and Standard 8 who returned to school earlier this week are set to undergo an academic assessment to determine the impact that the long break occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their learning.
The assessment to be undertaken by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) will be seeking to establish the entry behaviour of the learners after reopening of schools in order to give “focused interventions to mitigate learning loss.”
According to a communication released by Acting KNEC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mercy Karogo on Thursday, the assessment will cover all topics that should have been covered by March 2020.
Teachers have, however, been advised to inform learners that the assessment is not an examination.
“Teachers shall 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,” states KNEC.
Learners in Standard 8 will be assessed in all the KCPE subjects while those in Grade 4 will be assessed in Mathematics; English; Kiswahili; Environmental Activities, Science and Technology.
“Research has also shown that long periods away from face-to-face learning leads to learning loss. 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. In this regard, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) is undertaking school based national learning assessments for learners in all primary schools (Grade 1 to 4 and Standard 5 to 8),” states KNEC.
Learners with special needs and disabilities (age-based and stage-based) will also be assessed.
“Those following the age-based (regular) curriculum pathway will be assessed using regular tools that have been appropriately adapted to suit their individual needs. Learners with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities following the stage-based curriculum pathway will be assessed using tools designed for their pathway at respective levels,” adds the examination council.
According to KNEC, the assessment will among other things provide a baseline upon which interventions towards improved learning outcomes can be anchored; identify strengths and weaknesses in learner acquisition of specific subject content/skill areas; provide valid and reliable data to inform policy.
It will also provide teachers with standardised assessment tools from which to benchmark as they develop future assessments; and enhance the capacity of teachers and other stakeholders in developing valid, reliable and efficient assessments at school level.
To ensure reliability and integrity of the assessment, KNEC has established guidelines to inform the administration process and tasked Education officials led by Regional Directors of Education, TSC regional directors and County Education Directors to oversee the exercise in all primary schools.
The assessment will be conducted in a manner similar to the end-of-term examinations whereby all learning materials must be kept away to avoid cheating.
However, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has instructed that all learners be allowed to complete the assessment regardless of the time indicated on the assessment tool.
“Teachers shall collect assessment tools from the headteacher and administer the assessment while ensuring that all learners, including those with special needs and disabilities, are provided with the appropriate assessment tools and assistive devices where applicable. Teachers should allow all learners to complete the assessment regardless of the time indicated on the assessment tool,” reads the communication.
Upon completion of the assessment, teachers will obtain the scoring guides from the headteacher and mark the learners’ work before uploading the results on the KNEC assessment portal.
“At the end of the assessment, teachers shall be issued with the scoring guides by the headteacher at the specified time(s) and score the learners’ responses in adherence to the guidelines provided. Teachers shall upload the learners’ scores on the KNEC assessment portal and hand over hard copies of the scoresheets and other related materials to the headteacher,” states KNEC.
After uploading the learners’ details and scores, the teacher responsible shall hand over the scoresheets to the headteacher.
“The scoring and uploading process shall be completed not later than ten (10) days after completion of the assessment,” states the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).
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