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Education CS George Magoha with pupils. [File, Standard]

As the Kenya Early Year Assessment test for the 1.3 million Grade Three pupils kicks off today countywide, we lay bare what KEYA is all about.

As the Kenya Early Year Assessment test for the 1.3 million Grade Three pupils kicks off today countywide, we lay bare what KEYA is all about. 

Not an Exam

The ministry of education says the KEYA test is not an exam but rather an assessment of the Competency-Based Curriculum so far. It was launched two years ago. 

“We are not examining these children. We are trying to see how their abilities are going to help us move on to the next level,” says Education CS Prof George Magoha. 

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Is there going to be repeaters?

The national assessment will not determine the transition to the next class. All Grade Three learners will transit to Grade Four under the 100 percent transition policy. 

According to the Education CS, the Grade Three assessment is not weighty as KCPE and KCSE.

Grade 3 learners aren’t sitting any exams. KNEC is only monitoring their progress in a term-long exercise that doesn’t have a timetable, is conducted by class teachers, has no supervision, and learners won’t be ranked,” says Prof Magoha 

The new curriculum, which is focused on child development, aims at bringing the exam-based culture to a borderline with Prof Magoha stressing that Kenyans need to forget the fascination with examinations. 

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“This Kenyan love with examinations, please forget about it. This is not an exam,” says Prof Magoha.


English Activities, Mathematics Activities, and Integrated Learning Areas will be assessed in the ongoing Grade Three assessment and class teachers will act as supervisors.

The tests are on the Kenya National Examination Council portal where Head Teachers are expected to download them from and assess the pupils.  

The learners will also be administered with an integrated test that includes Kiswahili Activities/KSL, Environmental Activities, Movement and Creative Activities, Religious Activities, Hygiene and Nutrition.

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

Once the assessment is done, the class teachers are expected to upload the results on the Knec portal.

Knec has already started receiving uploaded results of the integrated environmental activity test that required learners to clean markets in their locality between July 12 and September 14, 2019. 

“At KNEC, we have received a lot of results about the integrated activities. It is not starting on Monday it has already started,” said Magoha. 

According to Magoha, the assessment which was expected to end on Friday, September 20 will continue until the end of the term.

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What is it all about?

Prof Magoha explains that school-based assessments will be used to archive three critical goals that will inform government policies.

Firstly, it will help the government to understand if effective learning is taking place under the CBC and whether the learners are acquiring the expected skills.

It will also be used to identify areas of interventions to improve learning. 

Students will only sit national examinations at the end of Grades 9 and 12.

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Grade 12 is an equivalent of the current 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 in pre-primary before proceeding to Grade One to Six.

According to Prof Magoha, the CBC is aimed at improving every leaner’s life since it provides a child with an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. 

Leaners with special needs

Learners with special needs in regular schools will be provided with 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.

Professor Magoha admitted on Friday that there are some ‘very severely disabled children’ who are finding it difficult to be assessed. 

He called upon teachers to administer repetitive assessment tests to them until they realise their potential. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta had assured that all learners including those with disabilities will be given equal opportunities to excel in their areas of abilities and interests.

Competency-based curriculum Prof. George Magoha Education Cs KNEC

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