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KNEC Assessment Guidelines for Grades 1 to 4 and Classes 5 to 8 after Reopening (To All Head Teachers)


Following the closure of all learning institutions on March 15, 2020, to curb the spread of COVID-19 whose first case the Ministry of Health reported in Kenya on March 3, 2020, the Ministry of Education (MoE) developed the Kenya Basic Education COVID-19 Emergency Response Plan, 2020, to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus on learning.

To boost the government’s efforts in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in primary and secondary schools, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) allocated the Government of Kenya a grant from the GPE COVID-19 accelerated funding window.

The purpose of the grant was to capacitate Kenya, as well as other governments benefitting from it, to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their systems of basic education and help in their recovery.

One of the key areas identified for support in Kenya in the assessment of learning.

The Project (GPE) is supporting KNEC, through the National Assessment Centre, to conduct school-based learning assessments in all primary schools beginning from Grade 1 to Standard 8.

The main aim of these assessments is to inform on possible learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic period and suggest interventions to address the learning gaps.

Strategic Objectives of Assessment of Learning

  1. Provide a foundation on which interventions towards improved learning outcomes during the post-COVID-19 pandemic period can be hinged;
  2. Identify strengths and weaknesses in learner acquisition of specific subject content and skills with a view to providing focused interventions.
  3. Provide reliable and valid data to inform policy-making processes;
  4. Provide teachers with standardized  assessment tools from which they can benchmark as they develop future assessments; and
  5. Enhance the capacity of teachers in developing valid, reliable, and efficient learning assessments at the school level.

It is hoped that the assessments can act as the end of Term 1, 2020, assessments/tests in the targeted subject/learning areas as, by the closure of learning institutions, the majority of schools may not have conducted the end of term assessments.

The scope of the assessment

  1. Standard 7 and 8 will be assessed in all the KCPE subjects.
  2. Standard 5 and 6 will be assessed in English, Kiswahili, Mathematics, and Science.
  3. Schools will assess Grade 4 pupils in English, Kiswahili, Mathematics, and Environmental Activities and Science and Technology (Note that this will be a combined paper, assessing all strands from Environmental Activities – Grade 1 to 3, and Science and Technology Grade 4 Term 1)
  4. Schools will assess Grades 1 to 3 in fundamental Literacy and Numeracy. (English Activities, Kiswahili Activities, and Mathematics Activities).
  5. For all subjects/learning areas, assessment items will be drawn from previous classes/grades and Term 1 of the current class/grade

For instance, Class 8 will be assessed from Class 1 to 7, and Term 1 of Class 8.

Monitoring Learner Progress (MLP) will inform the administration of the assessments at Grade 3 in 2019.

Schools heads will administer assessments at the school level as per the guidelines and assessment schedules provided by KNEC, and following regulations upon which administration of assessments/tests is based on.

Teachers will score and upload the scores onto the KNEC portal using guidelines provided by KNEC.

School administrators will upload the guidelines are contained in the administrative documents, onto the assessment portal alongside the assessment tools.

Schools will administer Class 8 and Grade 4 assessments from 19th to 23rd October 2020.

Schools will do assessments for other classes upon the reopening of specific classes.

The purpose of this communication, therefore, is to inform you of the assessments and request that your schools make appropriate preparations for the assessments.

Please note that the reliability and integrity of the outcome of these assessments rest upon Headteachers and teachers.

Therefore, you are to ensure learners have a natural environment in order to guard against extraneous variables that could affect their performance in the assessments.

Dr. Mercy Karogo, MBS


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