Kenya to host major Africa exams meeting in August

Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA) Executive Commitee members from left, Dr Mafu Rakometsi, Dr. Moreetsi Thobega, David Njengere, Peter Aregan, Dr Michael Chilala and Dan Odongo, during a meeting at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi [Jacinta Mutura,Standard]

Kenya will host the regional conference for examination bodies in Africa in August.

The conference of Association for Educational Assessment in Africa (AEAA) brings together examination bodies from 21 countries in Africa.

Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) will hold the 39th AEAA conference following a three-day meeting by the association's Executive Committee in Nairobi.

AEAA President Patrick Aregan said the committee was impressed by the ongoing preparations by KNEC.

"KNEC has clearly set the bar higher in terms of its preparedness for the August Conference. I am sure South Africa will benchmark with this standard, the President said in his remarks as he also announced that South Africa will host the 2024 edition of the Conference," Aregan said.

More than 500 delegates, including 400 foreign delegates are expected to attend the AEAA Conference- which is the Africa largest symposium for Scholars and professionals in educational assessment for sharing good practices in educational assessment and research.

This year's conference theme is "Educational assessment for nurturing every learner's potential" which the executive committee said resonates with major reforms by many member countries to align their education system.

Among the thematic areas the forum will be focusing on include assessing multiple intelligence in the 21st century by exploring alternative assessment, opportunities and challenges in the education sector.

Assessment of learners with special needs including the gifted and talented, managing the social and educational effects of high stakes assessment to ensure equity and fairness as well as use of technological advancement in assessment also form part of the conference's discussion.

Recognising prior learning has also been identified as a key area of discussion to enhance technical, vocational and occupational assessment in the schools.

The participating delegates from across Africa will also deliberate on the role of educational assessment data in informing teaching, learning and policy.

KNEC CEO, David Njengere, who is also the Vice President of the AEAA said the council is in the process of identifying local and international keynote speakers who are specialists in educational assessment and research.

The conference is aimed at addressing some key challenges experienced by assessment bodies in Africa with the AEAA president encouraging education stakeholders to acquaint themselves with the current assessment trends by various examination boards in Africa

Njengere said preparations for national examinations are on top gear and urged parents and teachers to speed up registration of candidates.

"Registration is a very critical stage in exams administration. I appeal to all headteachers and principals to take register the candidates at the earliest time and avoid the last minute rush," said Njengere.

He urged parents to take keen interest ingenuity process.

"Parents should also take interest to confirm that their children are registered.," he said.

A Cabinet dispatch last week said the Governemt is keenly observing the education sector especially examinations and transition to Junior Secondary Schools

The Cabinet said they considered the progress being made in the implementation of the transition to the Junior Secondary School, which is part of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

"The Cabinet directed that to foster equal opportunity to all our nation's children, even where the transition to Junior Secondary School may warrant a change of uniform, no student should be turned away from school for lack of school uniform so long as they are kitted in their primary school uniforms," reads the dispatch.

Cabinet also sanctioned early preparations for the 2023 national examinations, being KCPE and KCSE, as well as the taking of national examinations by the second cohort of Grade 6 learners in the form of the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA).