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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,19TH OCT,2020-Schools will begin term end assessment on Wednesday.
This is after schools closed in mid-March, three weeks shy to the end of the first term. Learners went home without sitting for the end-of-term exams.
The planned assessment, the examination council says, will seek to find the learning gaps created by the seven-month closure of schools.
Although the assessment target all learners in primary school, the commencement will only see those in Grade 4 and Standard take part in the exercise.
Standard Eight assessments will be done in three days and will be assessed in all KCPE subjects.
They will begin with mathematics, English language and composition on the first day.
Science, Kiswahili language and Insha will be on the second day; while social studies and religious studies on the third day.
Grade Four assessment will be conducted for four days with English learning, speaking and reading set for day one.
On day two, the learners will be assessed in English reading comprehension, grammar and writing for one hour and 20 minutes, while those with special needs will be tested for one hour and 50 minutes.
They will also be assessed on environmental activities, science and technology.
On day three, the pupils will be tested on Kiswahili, listening, speaking and reading aloud, they will also be assessed in Kiswahili grammar and writing on the fourth day.
Research by Unicef shows that long periods away from face-to-face teaching leads to learning loss. Acting Knec chief executive Mercy Karogo has emphasised this fact in guidelines to head teachers.
“It is therefore important to establish the entry behaviour of the learners after reopening of schools in order to give focused interventions to mitigate learning loss,” Karogo says in the document.
The assessment materials and tools will be accessed on the Knec online platform under the portal Knec LCBE Project, 2020 NASMLA.
In the guidelines, school heads have been ordered to register all their learners. Details to be captured are the class, name, year of birth, gender, choice of religious education, sign language candidates and disability.
“The institutions will be required to capture and upload biodata of learners in Grade 1 to 3 and Standard 5 to 7 in their schools,” the document reads.
For KCPE candidates, the learners’ biodata is already with the council and will be transferred for the assessment.
Those in Grade 4 will also be exempted from the registration process as they had undertaken a similar exercise last year, thus their data will be retrieved.
The assessments will act as a blueprint to improve learning outcomes. It will also help identify strengths and weaknesses in learner retention of specific subject content.
The council has also directed school heads to provide valid data to inform policy.
During the assessment, schools will be required to maintain a high level of discipline in enforcing the coronavirus protocols and safety guidelines.
Head teachers who will be responsible for fetching the documents and printing them will also be required to ensure security and safety of the printed papers and store them in a lockable cabinet.
As is the case during end-of-term assessments, teachers shall ensure there is no cheating in the classrooms.
Teachers will be required to confirm the attendance of learners, account for any absentees and brief them on the conduct of the assessment.
“In particular, teachers should inform the learners that the assessments are not examinations,” the document reads.
It also instructs teachers to allow all learners to complete the assessment regardless of the time limits imposed.
“They should collect the learners’ work at the end of the assessment and return the materials to the head teacher,” the document reads.
At the end of the assessment, teachers shall be issued with the scoring guides by the head teacher to mark the tests.
“Upload the learners’ scores on the KNEC assessment portal and hand over hard copies of the score sheets and other related materials to the head teacher,” the document says.
The head teacher will also be expected to keep the learners’ assessment tools, hard copies of score-sheets and any reports arising from the assessment.