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GRADE THREE ASSESSMENT EXAMINATIONS-CHALLENGES

KENYAN TEACHERS EXPRESS DISPLEASURE WITH THE ONGOING GRADE THREE ASSESSMENT

MOUNT ST MARY'S GIRLS PRIMARY SCHOOL, MOLO. PHOTO COURTESY
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In summary
Grade three teachers in Kenya have expressed their discontentment regarding the ongoing Grade three examinations. The assessment tests are scheduled to continue for the whole of this term.

Besides, they have complained about the shallow nature of the CBC assessment model.

Teachers, however, appreciate the impact of the new CBC system describing it as highly interactive and efficient when it comes to identifying learners’ weaknesses.

Teachers who have been charged with the responsibility of assessing Grade three learners in Kenya have complained about the current CBC evaluation methods describing them as time-consuming and tiresome.

TIME-CONSUMING
Teachers from various schools on Friday specifically raised eyebrows on the aspect of individual learner assessment. They said it was burdensome. Besides, it demands for time. The teacher, for instance, has to sit and listen to individual pupils articulate words correctly. S/ he must also help them out in their areas of difficulty.

CBC teachers also noted that some of the learners taking a very long time to complete the exercises. This poses more difficulties especially for highly- populated streams. The schools have two months to conclude the tests.
Besides, the teachers feel that the models used to assess the learners are too shallow. Therefore, they might not show the learners’ competencies.

Mathematics, for instance, involves four learning areas while English has got three only. teachers argue that this model may fail to capture fully what the learner is expected to have achieved by the end of the three-year learning period.

CLASSROOM INTERACTION
The teachers, however, acknowledge the interactive nature of the tests. They say it helps them discover their learners’ weaknesses and work towards improving them.

COMPETITION
The current competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) kicked off early this year amidst protests to stem out unnecessary competition in the current 8-4-4 system. It forms part of Kenya 2-6-3-3 curriculum.

Any future education policies and guidelines will therefore fully rely on the outcomes and recommendations based on this test.

KNEC
The Kenya National Examinations Council is therefore expected to adopt some of the CBC assessment methods to evaluate learners. This is because the methods aim at evaluating learners in multiple dimensions instead of using examinations only.

The model also gives room for a thorough learner assessment which enables teachers to identify and appreciate individual learner differences.

KICD
Regarding the ongoing CBC examinations, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has also chipped in to support the current model. It suggests that learners should be testing in areas that can aid them cope with real-life challenges.

OVERWHELMING NUMBERS
The greatest threat to effective CBC implantation in Kenya is the teacher-learner ratio. In many public primary schools, a teacher is obliged to handle about 70-80 students per class. This is despite the many P1 teachers in Kenya who are still tarmacking, desperately in need of a job.

This number is too high for one teacher considering the practical-oriented assignments and thorough observation of pupils’ work.
KNEC is therefore yet to propose the most appropriate model which will be used to test the learners’ skills and competencies fully.

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