Parents have raised concern over some of the items needed by teachers to administer Grade Four school-based tests which enter the second week today.
This even as Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) urged teachers to use readily available material for the assessments.
“We advised teachers to make the assessments as local as possible and based on items that are readily available within the school set up,” said Knec Acting Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha also asked headteachers not to put Grade 4 pupils under undue pressure during the administration of the tests.
“No one should put pressure on children about the assessments because they are not examinations. Even parents must stop putting pressure on the learners because these are not examinations,” said Prof Magoha.
However, parents who spoke to The Standard termed some demands by teachers outrageous, saying most of the items may not be readily available in certain areas.
National Parents Association chairman Nicholas Maiyo said some schools are insensitive in their demands.
“We had agreed they use local material but most schools are going against what we agreed about,” said Mr Maiyo.
He asked teachers to consider the schools environment before asking for items. “They must be sensitive enough to understand their environment and know some items can push parents to look for money. They should stick to what they said,” said Maiyo.
A certain school requested parents to make avail an old shirt, a long stick, old gumboots, a string, an old pair of trousers, a short stick and old clothing for tests scheduled for this week.
The items will be used during Agriculture projects.
Also in the list are tins, container or polythene papers, cabbage leaves, onions, carrots, kale and Black/African Nightshade (managu) leaves.
Pupils are also expected to take cereals such as rice, maize, wheat, sorghum seeds, beans, peas and green grams this week.
It emerged that a number of the items will put pressure on parents as some will have to be bought while others may not be available in respective schools environment.
Magoha said the assessments should be on available material within the school setup. “KNEC has already provided guidelines on this important assessment, which is part of the successful implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC),” said the CS.
This week, learners are expected to cover tests on Science & technology, Agriculture, PHE, Art/Craft, CRE and Home Science.
This means that pupils will engage in various projects in the respective subjects.
For Home Science, children have been asked to carry canvas shoes, plastic shoes, leather shoes, handtowel and washing brush.
The tests are administered to regular (age-based) and stage-based (special needs) learners. For the regular learners, Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, Kenyan sign language, science and technology, music and arts and craft will be assessed.
Also to be assessed for this category of learners are social studies, Christian Religious Education, Islamic Religious Education, Hindu Religious Education, home science and physical and health education.
And for the special needs learners, the teachers will administer assessments in communication, daily living skills, social and religious education, numeracy, creative, environmental, and psychomotor activities and sensory-motor integration.
Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia directed all Commission field officers to facilitate schools to administer the tests.
“I urge all field officers to support schools and ensure that class teachers access the Knec assessment tools and administer them to their learners as seamlessly as they can,” said Dr Macharia.
The TSC boss instructed teachers to ensure that the assessments are during normal class hours.
“I must emphasise that these tests should be done in normal class hours and all learners should not be put under any tense atmosphere that is different from their normal day-day classes,” said Macharia.
She further told teachers to use assessment materials from their school environment in the spirit of CBC.
The tests which will end this week, are administered to Grade 4 learners who are the pioneer class of the 2-6-3-3-3 education system under CB