Pioneer CBC learners begin first national assessment tests

Grade 4 pupils at St Peters Elite school conducting Competency-Based Curriculum practicals at the school, December 4, 2021. [Courtesy]

Pupils in Grades 3, 4 and 5 in primary schools began national tests as part of their continuous assessment.

The assessment test involves written tests provided to learners by the Kenya National Examinations Council. The tests are uploaded on their portal and are to be downloaded and administered to learners.

In Mombasa County, scores of pupils started the tests yesterday with teachers maintaining that they had adequately prepared the pupils for the national tests.

At the Little Star Junior School in Kiembeni, Kisauni Constituency within Mombasa county, the Headteacher Gibson Mureithi termed the new assessment tests as a great tool to prepare pupils for the future.

“The mode of assessment is cumulative with marks attained at the end of the test being added up in the final paper that a candidate does,” Mureithi said.

 At the Nyali School, a top performer in national examinations, pupils in Grades 3, 4 and 5 sat their assessment test with no hitches.

At Bungoma DEB, Grade 5 learners failed to write the tests because the papers arrived late.

Tobias Khisa, the school headteacher told The Standard on the phone that the affected learners will sit their examinations tomorrow.

Learners in Grades 2 and 3 did not experience any challenges writing their tests yesterday.

Khisa said they were having challenges downloading the assessment tests which were uploaded by the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) on  the CBA portal over the weekend.

In Kakamega, journalists were not allowed in primary schools with headteachers saying only county education officials could grant permission to the scribes to cover the assessment tests.

Teachers at Kakamega Primary and Kakamega Hill schools referred us to Western Regional Director of Education.

They however said they did not experience any hitches on day one of the tests.

But, according to Kakamega North Knut chairman Simon Ondeyo, teachers were having sleepless nights over the assessment tests.

“Schools don’t have money to administer CBC exams yet teachers are forced to download the exams and parents are not willing to part with money. The circular issued by Education Ministry not to send children away for school levies is burdening most schools,” Ondeyo noted.

He asked the Ministry to release money that will help in implementing the CBC curriculum.

In Nakuru County, a spot revealed that the assessments were being administered in a regular classroom setting. 

Linet Yugi, headteacher at St Peter’s Elite School Gilgil said at least 400 learners were being assessed.

She said practicals were done in October to December 2021 and results were uploaded to the Knec portal.

“We started the assessment for the Competency-Based Curriculum and at least 400 learners were assessed,” she said.

The headteacher said CBC allows learners to showcase what they are capable of doing, unlike the 8-4-4 system which was result-oriented.

Meanwhile, Mochongoi ward Member of County Assembly Kipruto Kimosop expressed fears that learners in the Lomoiywet area would not sit for their examinations due to insecurity in the area.

Learning was affected in Kapkechir primary and secondary, Tuiyotich primary and secondary, Karne Primary and secondary, Kasiela primary and Sinoni primary and secondary schools.

Area Assistant Chief Stephen Lobeles said armed herder attacked people who were at Tuiyotich primary school but no one was injured.

In some parts of Nyanza, poor network coverage impeded the administration of the examinations.

Some schools in Homa Bay County did not start the examination yesterday as expected due congestion in the network, which hampered downloading of examination papers.

In some areas, teachers had to travel more than 30 km to access cyber cafes to download the examination.

At Sing’enge Primary School in Ndhiwa Sub-county, headteacher John Omollo said he travelled more than 20km to Ndhiwa town to download the examination early Monday morning. But by 2 pm, he had only downloaded only half of the exams.

“I have not downloaded all the exams due to network issues. We will begin the exams today,” said Omollo.

Schools in Lake Victoria Islands also suffered the same problem.

“It is approaching 2pm and I have not finished downloading the exams in a cyber cafe in Mbita town,” said a teacher.

In Siaya, the schools have been uploading their marks as they are completed.

County Director of Education Nelson Sifuna says they are ready for examination in December.

He says continuous assessment has been effective. He said they are on course, no cases of schools yet to upload marks had been reported to his office.

In Kisii, the issues of networks cut across a number of public school with headteachers forced to work during weekends.

The affected schools are yet to compile the results, according to one of the senior Ministry officials at the county level.

And in Nairobi, several head teachers expressed confidence that unlike before, the learners are at ease while tackling the tests.

Anthony Ireri, head teacher at Kirawa Road School in Nairobi’s Kitisuru area said the materials were uploaded over the weekend so as to allow schools to download them and guide the learners.

“Those sitting for the CBA are in Grade 3, Grade 4 and Grade 5. The same sat for assessment integrated learning areas last term and now they are handling theoretical papers,” explained Ireri

Grade 3 will tackle Mathematics and English activities while pupils from other Grades will tackle subjects including Agriculture, Science and technology, Social studies, Music, Art and Craft, Home Science, CRE and Physical Education.

Afterwards they will be required to mark the test at school level and upload the results to the KNEC portal by February 21.

“Unlike the previous system CBA is more formative, the learners are not tense in any way in fact they are upbeat of posting good results,” explained Ireri.

Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association Chairman Johnson Nzioka says some schools have reported delays in downloading the materials.

“Some of the schools have large populations and downloading a bulk of the work takes time to produce enough copies for the children,” Nzioka explained. 

Another challenge, he said, is the expenses involved in producing enough materials for the learners.

Nzioka explained that there have been promises of internet connectivity not only outside Nairobi but also in the city since some of them are not even connected to power supply.

 [Reports by Philip Mwakio, Julius Chepkwony, Omelo Juliet, Benjamin Sakwa, James Omoro, Isiah Gwengi and Pkemoi Ng’enoh]


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