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Technological hitches, lack of clarity hit Grade 3 assessment.

Lack of birth certificates, unclear information, technological challenges and inadequate training of teachers have slowed down the registration of students and administering of the first Kenya Early Years Assessment (KEYA) for Grade Three learners, a spot check by Nation across the country shows. Private schools also seem to fare better than public schools in the national assessment, a new component of the competency-based curriculum (CBC), further widening the gap in academic performance between the two categories of schools.

Some head teachers from Nakuru County who spoke to the Nation said that they have had trouble getting birth certificates of learners whose parents were either separated or divorced. Consequently, they cannot ascertain their age and the correct order of names.

"Some parents are yet to furnish us with birth documents," said Mr Nicholas Mungai, the head teacher of Kabazi Primary School in Subukia Constituency. He said the school has registered 120 learners out of 133. A number of school heads in the region expressed concern that teachers had not been trained on how to conduct the assessment.

The principal of St Peter's Elite School in Gilgil Constituency, Mr Simon Mburu, said they have difficulty accessing National Education Management Information System data through the Grade 3 portal on the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) website. Head teachers complain that registration is hampered by a slow system while some teachers say they don't know how to prepare pupils The school expects to register all its 122 learners before the August 30 deadline.

It has not started the assessment as it is waiting for teachers' training to be completed. In Kisumu and Homa Bay counties, a number of schools have not registered the Grade 3 learners because they do not have birth certificates.

Most of the schools have also not began the standardised assessment developed by Knec. However, the 56 Grade Three learners at Jacaranda Academy in Nyalenda Estate, Kisumu, were assessed last week.

The head teacher, Mr Emmanuel Andati, noted that some parents did not help their children to improvise tools like brooms, rakes and dustpans, which they needed to clean Kilo Market. This is part of the parental engagement demanded by the curriculum.

At Shauri Yako Primary School in Homa Bay town, 40 pupils in Grade Three have not been registered because they have not provided copies of their birth certificates, said head teacher John Ogutu. The same hiccup has been witnessed at Osodo Primary School in Rachuonyo North Sub-county, where only 34 of the 49 Grade Three learners have been registered.

Teachers in the two schools are undergoing training on how to conduct the assessment. The deputy head teacher in charge of lower primary at Greenvale School, Eldoret, Ms Farida Abashi, said all 75 Grade Three learners had been registered, despite a few hitches.

She said that learners whose details were missing from NEMIS had been registered afresh. At Gethsemane Christian School, out of 46 Grade learners, only two have not been registered.

The head teacher, Ibrahim Essitoko, said they have not begun the assessment but all teachers have been trained on the assessment. In Isiolo County, most of the Grade Three teachers complained that they had received inadequate training.

They classrooms are also overcrowded, making it difficult to conduct the assessment. At St Kizito Primary School, two teachers, one trained and the other untrained, handle 120 learners.

They do not have assessment materials, and many of the tablets are faulty and have not been updated. ASSESSMENT Most of the teachers who spoke to the Nation said they had no idea how the assessment will be conducted, so they don't know how to prepare the learners.

Joystart Academy in Mandera County has registered 67 out of 74 learners. "Once the birth certificates are made available, we'll register the learners," said Mr Oscar Agweyu, the head teacher.

In Kirinyaga County, all learners at Alber School Kutus have been registered. "We are prepared and are now waiting for assessment tasks to start," said the school's proprietor, Mr Albert Nyaga.

At Lions Primary School in Embu County, head teacher Danson Munyagia said: "Parents have been involved in the process and are eager to see their children assessed. At Chuka DEB Primary School and Vestar Academy in Tharaka-Nithi County, a few learners have not been registered for lack of birth certificates, while others have not been registered because their parents do not have identity cards.

"We have registered about 90 per cent of the learners," said Ms Winjoy Nyange of Chuka DEB Primary School. In Meru County, teachers expressed concern that the assessment will be affected by schools's lack of capacity.

They said the high student to teacher ratio will make learning difficult. In Mombasa County, Nyali Primary School has registered all its 115 learners while Mary Cliff Primary has registered 31. REGISTERED Nyali head teacher John Kombo said: "Learners are required to clean local markets.

We have to let the parents know what is happening. We have a meeting with them on Saturday.

" said Mr Kombo. At Al Fatihah Academy in Tudor, all the 33 Grade Three pupils have been registered.

Deputy head teacher Evans Moses Mwanga said it took just one day. "We are now assessing the pupils.

The parents' response is good," he said. Mikindani Primary School in Jomvu Sub-county, has registered 100 out of 144 Grade Three learners.

Head teacher Cosmas Mutia said the NEMIS website is slow. By Victor Raballa, George Odiwuor, Francis Mureithi, Siago Cece, Eunice Murathe, Alex Njeru, Gitonga Marete, Regina Kinogu, Waweru Wairimu, George Munene, Manse Otsialo and Stanley Kimuge
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Aug 7, 2019
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