The registration of Grade Three pupils for a national assessment starts Monday amid confusion as parents asked the Ministry of Education to give them more time to acquire their children’s birth certificates.
On Sunday, the National Parents Association (NPA) chairman, Mr Nicholas Maiyo, said the announcement for start of registration caught many unawares as they were yet to acquire the vital document.
Parents with pupils in Grade Three have two months to enrol their children for the assessment, under the new Competency-Based Curriculum, which will be done in September.
The assessment is not an examination as such, but a compilation of each child’s performance in class exercises.
Assessment will be in English activities, mathematics activities, integrated learning areas (Kiswahili, environmental activities, movement and creative activities, religious activities, hygiene and nutrition activities).
Mr Maiyo also raised concern that the assessment was being conducted ‘too early’, saying the children were too young to understand the importance of the exercise.
Headteachers have equally complained they are yet to be briefed on what exactly will be done from Monday, an indication that a circular issued by the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec), detailing the requirements, was yet to reach them.
“What I can tell you is that we do not know what will happen as we are reading the issues in the media just like any other person,” said a primary school headteacher, who requested anonymity.
The Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) chairman, Mr Nicholas Gathemia, did not comment on the concerns raised, but said he was awaiting communication from the Ministry of Education.
However, Knec acting chief executive officer Mercy Karogo asked schools to register learners in time to enable the council conduct the assessment.
Dr Karogo said no pupil would be left out of the assessment for lack of a birth certificate, but asked parents to ensure that they get the vital document.
“We are ready for the exercise that starts today and it will enable us plan for the assessment effectively,” said Dr Karogo.
Schools will be required to have Internet connections since the exercise will be done online.
Many parents have found it difficult to acquire the certificates for their children to facilitate their registration since last year.
This has affected the process, with the government only managing to register four million learners out 12 million in primary schools.
The government has set August 30 as the deadline for registration.
Dr Karogo insisted that the process must be adhered to, with all headteachers ensuring that all Grade Three learners are identified and enrolled within the stipulated period. Headteachers should visit the Knec website and click on the Kenya Early Years Assessment (Keya) portal, which will direct them to cbc.knec.ac.ke.
Schools which already have Knec code will log onto the Keya portal using it while institutions that do not have it will liaise with their respective curriculum support officers for help.
“The headteachers shall use the correct combination and order of names as they appear on the learners’ birth certificate. This must be done in consultation with the parent or guardian,” said Dr Karogo in a circular to directors of education and headteachers dated June 24.
She added that headteachers can continuously amend the enrolment details of their learners before August 30 as need arises.
County directors of education will be expected to provide feedback to Knec by July 15 on infrastructure requirements in schools for the assessment.
The pupils will be required to have a birth certificate before they are registered for the assessment.
Dr Karogo said the council had developed assessment tools which will be used to assess competency levels among Grade Three learners.
Dr Karogo said the names used in Keya enrolment must be a replica of the official names of the learner as they appear in the birth certificates. The citizenship will be indicated as well as disability form for those affected.
She said headteachers are directly responsible for enrolment of learners while cases of transfers must be brought to the attention of the sub-county director of education and Knec.
Dr Karogo said the assessment will take place between September 16-20. The council is expected to analyse the uploaded assessment scores and compile a report which will be released in October.