State sets record straight about Grade Three tests

Monday September 16 2019

Grade Three pupils at Union Primary School in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, participate in a mathematics lesson on September 16, 2019. They are being prepared for the Kenya Early Years Assessment. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The government has moved to clear the air on the assessment of Grade Three learners, even as teachers took the pupils through rehearsals for the exercise Monday.

According to the Ministry of Education, no individual results will be provided.

Neither will there be report cards or ranking of schools in the ongoing national Monitoring Learners’ Progress (MLP) exercise under the competency-based curriculum (CBC).

In addition, all learners in Grade Three will proceed to Grade Four as the assessment will not be used for placement or transition to the next grade.

But while Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said teachers are at liberty to administer the assessment at their convenience as long as all the tasks are given to the learners and assessed by the time schools close on October 25, 2019, teachers who spoke to the Nation on Monday said they have up to Friday this week to feed the outcome of the exercise into the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) portal.



There have been conflicting reports about the conduct and nature of the assessment, with many teachers, parents and learners equating it to an examination.

Dr Kipsang dismissed as fake a timetable purported to be from the examinations council that has been doing the rounds on social media.

He was addressing a press conference at Moi Avenue Primary School in Nairobi where he had gone to assess the exercise.

“There is nothing special about today or this week. It is only that as Kenyans, out of that pressure that was on everybody, we created a perception that looked like today was going to be different from any other day,” he said.

At the end of the exercise, Knec will collate the data from all primary schools and prepare a consolidated report about learning in the country.

The report will inform stakeholders in education on the success and challenges of the competency-based curriculum.

“The report will inform our other activities that we are going to do,” the PS said. Such activities include capacity building for teachers and delivery of content. The monitoring is for policy and guidance.


However, even as Dr Kipsang made the clarification, a number of schools have insisted on carrying out the assessment this week, according to the timetable that Dr Kipsang says is fake.

Some private schools have printed copies for the learners and parents.

“Monitoring of learner progress is not anything new. We’ve been doing this since 2010 in Grade Two, Six and Form Two. The only thing we were doing differently that time was that we were sampling schools,” he said.

This year, the exercise involves all the schools. According to Knec, MLP will be “conducted by class teachers continuously throughout the learning process. It is carried out depending on the teachers’ judgment to establish if the learner has developed the expected competencies.”

The teachers are using MLP tasks developed by Knec that they download from the Grade Three portal on the council website.

“The headteacher will download, print and hand over the tasks to the class teachers as and when required. Curriculum support officers will assist the teachers who are unable to download the tools,” an information document from Knec reads.


Nairobi County Teachers Service Commission (TSC), deputy director Milton Oyugi said all teachers handling lower primary had been trained on implementation of the CBC and how to conduct the MLP during the April and August holidays. Another training will be conducted in December.

Dr Kipsang announced that evaluation and approval of learning and teaching material for use in Grade Four was “at the tail end” and expressed confidence that it would be distributed to schools before they open in January.

He said secondary school teachers would be trained on the CBC before they receive students from primary school. Learners will proceed to junior secondary at Grade Seven.

Assessment in the Integrated Learning Areas that incorporates Environmental Activities, Hygiene and Nutrition Activities, Kiswahili Language Activities/Kenyan Sign Language, Movement (PE) and Creative Activities, and Religious Activities started in July.


The learners have been involved in community service learning where they have been cleaning markets near schools and assessed by their teachers.

Learners with visual, hearing or physical impairments and following the regular curriculum will be monitored using adapted activities depending on their disability.

Those in the stage-based special-needs education pathway will be monitored using specific tools in communication, social and pre-literacy, activities of daily living and integrated learning areas (orientation and mobility skills, pre-numeracy skills, sensory-motor and creative activities).