In Summary
  • Teachers blamed the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) for not giving clear guidelines on how the assessment should be conducted.
  • They also complained that the training they received during the April and August holidays was inadequate.

  • Education PS 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.

Teachers countrywide Tuesday administered the Grade Three assessment in a strict and controlled examination-like environment contrary to government assertions that the Monitoring Learner Progress (MLP) exercise is not an examination.

This is an indication that the teaching fraternity failed the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) test.

CIRCULAR

A spot check by the Nation shows a clear disconnect between government policy and reality on the ground as schools and parents have taken to the exercise and created the same atmosphere associated with traditional examinations that CBC aims to get rid of.

Some schools had rehearsals for the assessment on Monday and others even have invigilators to oversee the exercise, which Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang have said is only meant to measure the success and challenges of the new curriculum.

However, teachers blamed the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) for not giving clear guidelines on how the assessment should be conducted. They also complained that the training they received during the April and August holidays was inadequate.

On Monday, Dr 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. Many teachers are struggling to complete the exercise by Friday this week. This was triggered by a timetable that has been doing rounds but which Dr Kipsang says is fake.

“Knec has failed to do its work. How can they just post the papers online with no instructions on administration of the assessment? A circular would have been sufficient,” a teacher who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation said.

PRESSURE

He faulted the council for not offering enough guidance and support to teachers.

In the MLP, headteachers are expected to download the assessment materials from the Grade 3 portal and make copies available for each learner. They have complained that this is expensive as most of them have to download, print and photocopy at cyber cafes. This cost is not factored in the capitation that public schools receive from the government under the free primary education programme.

Class teachers are then expected to administer the assessment and also mark using scoring guides and rubrics also downloaded from the portal. They are then to give the scoring sheets to the headteachers who upload them onto the portal. Teachers blamed some curriculum support officers for piling pressure on them to complete the exercise this week.

“Those who are monitoring the MLP shouldn’t harass teachers but train, mentor and guide them on how to best implement the process efficiently and effectively,” a teacher said.

The assessment tasks, seen by the Nation, are not timed. English has 3 tasks organised in two sections (A and B). Task 1 is a face-to-face assessment where the teacher asks the learners questions that they are supposed to answer in English. Task 2 involves a reading aloud exercise whereas Task 3 has reading comprehension, language structures and functions and guided writing.

The Mathematics Activities has 25 questions that the learners write on the question paper.

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