All primary school learners will take an assessment test under the guidance of the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) as the government seeks to address learning gaps and suggest interventions after the seven-month break.
"Research has shown that long periods away from face-to-face learning leads to learning loss. It is therefore important to establish the entry behaviour of the learners after reopening of schools in order to give focussed interventions to mitigate learning loss," said Knec.
Grade Four and Standard Eight are set to undertake their exams from next week.
Knec said that Standard Seven and Standard Eight will be assessed in all the subjects tested in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) while Grade Four will take Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, and Environmental Activities, Science and Technology.
"All the assessment tools have been developed based on the topics/strands of the syllabus and curriculum designs which should have been covered by March 2020," said Knec in a circular to school headteachers.
Earlier this week, Knec Acting Chief Executive Officr, Dr Mercy Karogo, said that Grade Four and Standard Eight assessments will be administered from October 19 – 23, while that of other classes will be conducted upon reopening of specific classes.
She said the learning assessments seek to provide a baseline on which interventions towards improved learning outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic period can be hinged.
It is also to identify strengths and weaknesses in learner acquisition of specific subject content and skills with a view to providing focused interventions.
The assessment will also enhance teachers’ capacity in developing valid, reliable and efficient learning assessments at the school level.
“It is hoped that the assessments will act as end of Term 1, 2020, assessments or tests in the targeted subject by the closure of learning institutions, majority of schools may not have conducted the end of term assessments,” she explained.
Standard Five and Standard Six will be assessed n English, Kiswahili, and Science.
Environmental Activities and Science Technology will be a combined paper assessing all strands from the environmental activities.
Grades One to Three will be assessed in Fundamental Literacy and Numeracy covering English, Kiswahili, and Mathematics activities.
“For all subjects, assessment items will be drawn from previous classes or Grades and Term 1 of the current class or grade. For instance, Class 8 will be assessed from Class 1-7 and Term 1 of Class 8,” said Karogo.
She said the administration of assessment will be informed by the Monitoring Learner Progress administered at Grade Three last year.
They will also be administered at the school level as per guidelines and assessment schedules provided by Knec and following regulations upon which tests are anchored.
Teachers will be expected to score and upload the grades onto the Knec portal using guidelines provided by Knec.
“Please note that the reliability and integrity of the outcome of these assessments rest upon Headteachers and teachers. You are therefore called upon to ensure that learners are provided with a natural environment in order to guard against extraneous variables that could affect their performance,” Karogo advised the Headteachers.
The assessment will be conducted under the Kenya Global Partnership for Education (GPE) learning continuity in basic education projects.
To support efforts in mitigating the impact of coronavirus in the basic education sector, GPE allocated the Government a grant from the GPE Covid-19 accelerated funding window, to help the sector recover.