Tests timetable out as Knec puts cheats on notice

Tests for Grade Four pupils will last between 10 minutes and two hours when the assessments start on Monday.

The timetable released by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) further shows that Standard Eight tests will last between 40 minutes and three hours.

Even though Knec has maintained the tests are not examinations, the rigour and rules set for the administration of the assessments point to a thorough exercise similar to national examinations.

In a detailed guide sent to schools ahead of the start of the tests, Knec instructs headteachers to inspect classrooms to ensure health and safety of learners and teachers.

Security for the tests has also been enhanced, with schools directed on strict conduct.

Knec Acting Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo wants the test materials stored safely in the headteachers’ offices and only produced when needed.

“To ensure security and safety, the printed assessment tools should be stored in the headteacher’s office in a lockable cabinet,” said Karogo.

All primary school heads have been instructed to download the assessment tools from Knec website and make them ready a day before start of the tests.

This means the assessment tools such as timetables, advance instructions, scoring guides and learners questioners be made ready before Monday.

Headteachers are directed to ensure the stored assessment tools are only retrieved and issued to the teachers administering the tests based on the timetable.

This process is similar to an advance delivery of the national examination question papers to the sub-county headquarters for safe storage in containers.

The details are contained in a Knec document dubbed ‘guidelines for the conduct of school based learning assessments’. The tests will be administered from Monday to Friday next week.

During the administration of the tests, Knec wants teachers to ensure there are no foreign or stimulus material in classrooms that may facilitate cheating.

“Teachers shall confirm attendance of learners, account for any absentee and brief them on the conduct of assessments,” said Karogo.

A schedule of the assessments for Grade Four class shows that on Monday, part one of the English test will last between 10 and 15 minutes.

This section will entail listening, speaking and reading aloud. And for special learners with hearing impairment, the test will entail observing and signing, and reading and signing.

The second part of the English assessment will last one hour and 50 minutes, and will be administered on Tuesday.

Reading comprehension, grammar and writing will last one hour 20 minutes and an additional 30 minutes for learners using Braille.

For learners with hearing impairment, reading comprehension, grammar and writing will only last one hour.

Grade Four pupils will also sit mathematics paper on Tuesday, which will last one and a half hours and two hours for those using Braille.

Assessments on environmental activities, science and technology will also be administered on Tuesday.

Kiswahili tests will be done on Wednesday and Thursday, with Kenyan sign language being the last paper examined for only 15 minutes.

The timetable has scheduled Standard Eight candidates to write their tests in three days as is the case with KCPE examinations. Mathematics, English language and composition tests will be done on Monday when the tests start.

Science, Kiswahili lugha, Kenya sign language and insha papers will be administered on Tuesday.

And on the last day, the candidates will sit social studies and religious education paper.

The assessments will also be administered to the rest of the classes once they report to school in about two weeks.

Grade One to Grade three will be assessed on fundamental literacy and numeracy, that is, English activities, Kiswahili activities and mathematics activities.

Standard five and six will be assessed in English, Kiswahili, mathematics and science.

Standard Seven pupils, expected to sit national examinations next year, will also be assessed in all KCPE subjects.

Knec says the exercise will provide a baseline on which interventions towards improved learning outcomes during the post-Covid-19 pandemic can be hinged.

“The learning assessments also seek to enhance teachers capacity in developing valid, reliable and efficient learning assessments at school level,” said Karogo. Knec says the assessments will provide reliable and valid data to inform policy-making processes.

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