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Knec quietly releases Grade Six results as junior high beckons

 Grade six pupils at St Peters Elite school, Gilgil, during their practical lessons at the school on August 26,2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The results for 1,287,597 learners who sat the inaugural Grade Six examination last year have been released.

But even though the candidates were examined on various subjects, the results have not taken the conventional grading format.

Instead, each school has been sent assessment reports containing detailed comments on learners' achievements. This mode of releasing the results is another marked departure from the KCPE examination where top Ministry of Education and Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) officials call a press conference that's beamed live on television.

The results of the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) under the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) were posted on individual schools' portals.

A look at sample school assessment reports indicate that unlike the traditional grading in KCPE where marks are awarded out of 500, the CBC learners are rated on four performance metrics, namely Exceeding Expectation, Meeting Expectation, Approaching Expectation, and Below Expectation.

These metrics are used to rate the learners in the five subjects assessed in KPSEA, and the specific skills under every subject and strand (sub-topics) to demonstrate individual leaner's capabilities.

For instance, assessment for Mathematics subject was done for the major topics including Algebra, Measurements, Geometry, Data Handling, Multiplication, Division, and Number Work. This means every child was assessed and graded on every sub-topic in the subject where Exceeding Expectation is the highest performance level with four points while Below Expectation is the lowest performance level with one point.

The subjects assessed include Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, Kenyan Language, Integrated Science (Science and Technology, Agriculture, Home Science, Physical and Health Education), Creative Arts and Social Studies, and Religious Education.

The rubric assessment will enable teachers know the areas learners are competent, and areas that require intervention. School assessment accounts for 60 per cent of the summative assessment report, while the Knec assessment accounts for 40 per cent of the learners' total score.

Portfolio of evidence of work done in schools indicates how children have documented evidence of practical learning and is used in summation of the total score.

Knec announced that while the KPSEA results will not be used for placement of learners in junior secondary schools, the reports will be part of the process of monitoring learner progress before they join senior secondary school.

Stakeholders in the education sector, however, have raised concerns over possible hitches can could affect the integrity of results owing to criteria of assessing learners.

APBET Schools Association of Kenya National Treasurer Paul Wanjohi said lack of integrity among teachers could compromise the true demonstration of learners' competencies if they upload wrong scores in the Knec portal.

"Much of the assessment, if done in schools and if the teacher is not honest and awards wrong results, will have a wrong report of the child's capabilities," said Mr Wanjohi.

Mr Wanjohi also noted that most schools lack the necessary technology to access exams from Knec portal thus forcing them to download from cyber cafes. "Some teachers lack technology know-how to feed the results in the portal and they have to seek assistance. That exposes confidential data for the learners."

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