Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday clarified that the assessment of Grade 3 learners is a continuous process that will go on until the end of the term.
Prof Magoha refuted reports that the assessment is a one-week exercise expected to kick off on Monday.
“I don’t know whose creation it is that the assessment will start on Monday and end on Friday. We are going to continue assessing our children until the end of the term,” he said.
However, a spot check carried out by the Nation since last week had shown that many teachers, parents and learners did not understand the content and conduct of the assessment, with many equating it to an examination. The ministry insists that this is an assessment to monitor the progress of learning and not an examination in the traditional sense.
Prof Magoha was speaking at Joy Town Special School in Thika yesterday while conducting pre-monitoring of the national examinations (KCPE and KCPE) and classroom observation of delivery of the Competency-Based Curriculum.
He said that the assessment is only meant to establish whether the learners have exceeded, met or failed to meet expectations to enable teachers identify areas to focus on for the benefit of the children.
“It’s just like in performance contracting that if you do not measure what you want to achieve, then you won’t know what you have done. The teachers want to know what the learners have picked after the three years so that they can go to the next level,” he said.
He also said that the exercise should not be expensive as the assessment materials can be downloaded and written on blackboards by the teachers assessing the children. This will come as a relief to school heads who have been struggling to print and photocopy the materials to administer the assessment. The English and Mathematics written tests will also not be timed.
The assessment began in July with the integrated learning areas where learners have been involved in clean-up exercises at markets near their schools. During the activity, teachers assess their competency in Kiswahili/Kenya Sign Language, environmental activities, nutrition and hygiene, movement and creative activities as well as religious activities.
Teachers have been using standardised assessment tools developed by Kenya National Examination Council and rubrics to administer and score the work. The performance of the task is then measured against the expected outcomes of the teaching/learning process. The scoring is on a range of 1 – 4 where 1 point is for below expectation, 2 for approaching expectation, 3 for meeting expectation and 4 for exceeding expectation.
The scoring sheets will then be uploaded by the head teacher on the Grade 3 portal on the Knec website. Experts at the council will analyse the scores and give feedback to stakeholders such as TSC to help train teachers and Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum and make amends, if necessary.
Prof Magoha also warned exam cheats and education officials who collude with them that stern action will be taken against them.