Magoha: Grade Three test won’t determine transition

Education CS George Magoha with pupils. [File, Standard]
The government has assured parents and learners over the ongoing Grade Three assessments saying they are not national tests to determine the transition to the next class.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the Kenya Early Years Assessment (Keya) will only be used to inform learning achievements attained by learners at Grade Three under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

Prof Magoha said under the 100 per cent transition policy, all Grade Three learners will move to Grade Four next year.

“The outcomes of the exercise will not be used to determine the transition of learners from Grade Three to Four. All learners will transit to the next class,” said Magoha.

In preparation for the assessments, Kenya National Examination Council conducted a pilot in September 2018 in 100 schools across the country.

Critical goals

These schools were part of the 235 institutions which had been identified by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development for piloting of the CBC.

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During the exercise, English Activities, Mathematics Activities, and Integrated Learning Areas will be assessed.

Integrated learning areas will include Kiswahili Activities/KSL, Environmental Activities, Movement and Creative Activities, Religious Activities, Hygiene and Nutrition.

Learners with special needs in regular schools will be provided the same assessment tools but shall be adapted to suit their various disabilities.

In this category, learners competencies are monitored in communication, social and pre-literacy skills, activities of daily living and religious education will also be assessed.

Under the integrated learning areas, orientation and mobility skills, pre-numeracy skills and sensory-motor and creative activities will be assessed.

Speaking yesterday, Magoha explained that the school-based assessments will only be used to archive three critical goals that will inform government policies.

He said the assessments will help the government to understand if effective learning is taking place under the CBC and whether the learners are acquiring the expected skills.

The assessments, he said, will also be used to identify areas of interventions to improve learning. Students will only sit national examinations at the end of Grades Nine and 12.

Grade 12 is an equivalent of present Form Four. This means the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations has been retained and will be used to place students in universities. Under the new 2-6-3-3-3 education system, learners will spend two years at pre-primary before proceeding to Grade One to Six.

Knec Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo yesterday assured parents and learners that the exercise is not an examination but is part of the normal learning process.

She clarified that the assessment will not rank learners, schools or counties.

“Parents are advised not to pay levies and any other charges meant to facilitate the monitoring learner assessment preparations and administration,” said Karogo.

Speaking to Saturday Standard, the Knec CEO explained that the assessments are not new and the Council has been conducting the same since 2010 after every three years in Class Three and Six.

In secondary schools, Karogo said the assessments are conducted in Form Two and Three in line with international standards to get the achievements of learners.

“The outcomes of these assessments are often disseminated and presented to Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to inform policy,” she said.

Karogo clarified that the assessments in Grade Three will not have supervisors or invigilators from Knec as is the practice in KCPE and KCSE.

“The assessments will be administered in a class by teachers as part of the normal learning process.

“There will also be no individual scores for candidates, schools or counties and no grading shall be done,” Karogo said.

During the exercise schools will download the assessment tools from the Council website and work on them at their own convenient time.

“The administration of these tools shall be done in the most natural environment used for continuous assessments without incurring extra costs,” said Karogo.

Teachers will, however, be required to share feedback on learners’ progress with the parents.

Knec said the assessments will guide in the selection of pathways and tracks in senior secondary school.

“They will also measures learners’ achievement and certification at the end of basic education in Grade 12,” reads a Knec document.

The council further says that the assessment will establish a means of measuring learners’ participation in Community Service Learning and acquisition of values as a mandatory part of the Learner Exit Profile at the end of Basic Education in Grade 12.

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