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The Kenya National Examinations Council, Knec, has released a crucial circular to all school heads on the conduct of learning assessments under the Kenya Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Covid19 learning continuity in basic education project.

In the circular, Knec, boss Dr. Mercy Karogo outlines how assessment will be carried out in each class (Grade 1 to Standard 8) and the subjects to be covered.

Here are the contents from the circular dated October 8, 2020;

RE: CONDUCT OF LEARNING ASSESSMENTS UNDER THE KENYA GPE COVID -19 LEARNING CONTINUITY IN BASIC EDUCATION PROJECT

1.0 Subsequent to the closure of all learning institutions on March 15, 2020 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 whose first case in Kenya was reported on 3rd March, 2020. the Ministry of Education (MOE) developed the Kenya Basic Education COVID- 19 Emergency Response Plan, 2020, to mitigate the impact the pandemic on learning.

2.0 To support the government’s efforts in mitigating the impact of COVID- 19 pandemic in the basic education sector, Global Partnership for Education(GPE) allocated the Government of Kenya (GOK) a grant from the GPE COVID-19 accelerated funding window. The grant is designed to capacitate Kenya, as well as other governments benefiting from it, to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their education systems and help recovery.

3.0 One of the key areas identified for support in Kenya is learning assessment. Under Sub Component 3.2, the Project is supporting KNEC, through the National Assessment Centre, to conduct school-based learning assessments in all primary schools (Grade 1 to Standard 8).

4.0 The overarching aim of the assessments is to inform on possible learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic period and suggest interventions to be put in place to address the learning gaps.

5.0 The learning assessments seek to achieve the following strategic objectives:

  • 5.1 provide baseline on which interventions towards improved learning outcomes during the post COVID-19 pandemic period can be hinged;
  • 5.2 identify strengths and weaknesses in learner acquisition of specific subject content and skills with a view to providing focused interventions;
  • 5.3 provide reliable and valid data to inform policy-making processes;
  • 5.4 provide teachers with standardized assessment tools from which to benchmark as they develop future assessments; and
  • 5.5 enhance teachers’ capacity in developing valid, reliable and efficient learning assessments at school level.

It is hoped that the assessments will act as end of Term 1, 2020, assessments/ tests in the targeted subjects/ learning areas as, by the closure of learning institutions, majority of schools may not have conducted the end of term assessments.

Related information;

HOW THE ASSESSMENT WILL BE CARRIED OUT

6.0 The scope of the assessments will be as follows:

  • 6.1 Standard 7 and 8 will be assessed in all the KCPE subjects,
  • 6.2 Standard 5 and 6 will be assessed in English, Kiswahili, Mathematics and Science;
  • 6.3 Grade 4 will be assessed in English, Kiswahili Mathematics and Environmental Activities & Science and Technology (Note that this will be a combined paper, paper assessing all strands from Environmental Activities. Grades 1 to 3, and Science and Technology- Grade 4, Term 1.),
  • 6.4 Grades 1 to 3 will be assessed in Fundamental Literacy and Numeracy (English Activities, Kiswahili Activities and Mathematics Activities).
  • 6.5 For all subjects / learning areas, assessment items will be drawn from previous classes/ grades and Term 1 of the current class/grade For instance, Class 8 will be assessed from Class 1 to 7, and Term 1 of Class 8.

7.0 The administration of the assessments will be greatly informed by the Monitoring Learner Progress( MLP) assessment administered at Grade 3 in 2019. The assessments will be administered at school level as per the guidelines and assessment schedules provided by KNEC, and following regulations upon which administration of assessments tests is anchored.

Teachers will score and upload the scores onto the KNEC portal using the guidelines provided by KNEC. The guidelines are contained in the administrative documents which will be uploaded onto the assessment portal alongside the assessment tools.

8.0 Class 8 and Grade 4 assessments will be administered from 19th to 23 October, 2020. Assessments for other classes will be conducted upon reopening of specific classes.

9. The purpose of this communication, therefore, is to inform you of the assessments and request that your school makes appropriate preparations for the assessments.

10. Please note that the reliability and integrity of the outcome of these assessments rests upon the Headteachers and teachers. You are, therefore, called upon to ensure that learners are provided with a natural environment in order to guard against extreneous variables that could affect their performance.