Concerns Over Grade Six Learners’ Preparedness for KPSEA Examinations Emerge.
Concerns have been raised regarding the level of readiness of Grade Six learners for the national examinations that begin on Monday.
According to teachers who spoke with The Saturday Standard, most institutions place a greater emphasis on preparing students for the Class Eight and Form Four national tests while giving Grade Six students minimal attention.
They also mentioned the shortened school year’s effect on the student’s preparation time.
The teachers were also worried that the students didn’t know how to do well on competitive tests because the school-based and easy tests were part of the curriculum.
Also surfacing are the Grade learners’ worries and transitional uncertainty, which, according to instructors and parents, hindered their exam preparations.
The revelations emerged during the day of practice for the approximately 2.4 million applicants nationwide.
There will be 1,244,188 candidates for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and 1,287,597 candidates for the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA).
The Kenya National Examination Council says an additional 884,263 candidates will sit for KCSE exams.
On the rehearsal day, however, teachers and parents were mostly concerned about the readiness of sixth-grade applicants.
On Monday, the candidates will take exams in mathematics and English.
Tuesday, Integrated Science and Kiswahili, and Wednesday, Creative Arts and Social Studies.
Doreen Ocholle, the principal of Tassia School in Nairobi, stated that preparing the two pairs of students for the tests has not been simple.
‘‘As you know, preparing two sets of candidates in a compressed academic calendar has not been easy. The KCPE exam has been there before, and students are prepared psychologically as opposed to their juniors,’’ Ocholle said, adding it has taken resilience of teachers in preparing the candidates.
Augustine Musyoka, the principal of Early Bird School in Machakos, remarked that teachers focused more on preparing KCPE candidates at the expense of those in Grade Six.
‘‘Learners are well prepared, especially those sitting for the KCPE. However, the KPSEA candidates have a lot of excitement and anxiety as a pioneer class. They engaged invigilators with a lot of questions about the examination, which showed clearly they are not conversant with what they are going to sit for,” Musyoka said.
Kennedy Aroko, principal of the Emmaus Education Centre in Korogocho, Nairobi, asserts that the concurrent administration of two national exams in elementary schools has strained available resources.
‘‘The classrooms are not enough considering the high number of candidates some schools have. Having Grade Six candidates sit together with Standard Eight is really straining,’’ Aroko said.
However, many students report that they are enthusiastic and eager to experience the new era
Schools are having trouble figuring out where to put their students, and some say they don’t have enough time to prepare.
Grace Kagungu, an invigilator at the center, reported that the students were prepared for their tests.
“We have taken them through all the exam regulations on time, exam irregularities and conduct during the exam period,” Kagungu noted.
Some schools, like Gilgil Hills Academy, which had the best national KCPE candidate in 2021, and Roots Academy, have set up separate facilities for junior secondary students.
The principal of Gilgil Hills, Cephas Mwangi, emphasized that there is no demand on their infrastructure because they established a secondary school years ago but have not yet opened it.
Linet Yugi, the principal of St. Peter’s Elite, stated that five classes would become empty due to the movement of KCPE students to secondary school.
In North Rift, Dr. Eddyson Nyale, the Uasin Gishu County Commissioner, stated that the KCPE and KEPSEA tests will be offered in 707 and 848 centers, respectively.
At Bishop Muge Memorial Primary School, 113 students are prepared for the KCPE, and 80 students are prepared for the KEPSEA.
Invigilators at Lessos Education Centre in Nandi County were confident that the institution was prepared for tests at both levels.
Mrs Mary Tanui, the school administrator, stated that there are 27 KCPE candidates and 35 KEPSEA candidates.
Pendo and Jabstir primary schools in Kakamega county were also scheduled for Monday’s exams.
Veronica Otieno, the principal of Joel Omino Primary School in Kisumu, stated that 523 children will appear for exams the next week.
She remarked, “I am optimistic and can certainly assert that the sixth graders are especially prepared, given a large number of them performed exceptionally well on the KNEC evaluation.”