Knec explains technical error in Grade 4, Class 8 LCBE assessment portal

The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has finally responded after the disquiet over the Grade 4, Class 8 online portal.

Most schools had completed the assessments and were hopeful of uploading the results inline with the Knec LCBE guidelines.

Some schools had already started the upload of the scores without issues. However trouble began when the portal would not open and where it did it brought a complete different school.

Knec has come out to explain the error experienced by teachers and ICT gurus and when it will resolve.

One of the Knec ICT officers incharge of the online systems said the system is undergoing scheduled maintenance and will be back and running when the process is completed.

Mr Opiyo also said the system is overwhelmed by numerous requests but they are working to exceed user the limit.

2.1       Enrolment and capture of learners’ biodata

2.1.1    The Learner  Enrolment  Platform,  assessment  tools  and all related  materials  shall be accessed through the KNEC LCBE Project,  2020 NASMLA platform  portal using the school  username  and  password  issued  by KNEC  as used  during  MLP  and  KCPE examination registration purposes. A user-guide will be provided on the website.

2.1.2   For new schools/schools that are not registered in the KNEC portal, the headteachers are expected to liaise with their respective  SCDEs  to  be  issued with a username and password by KNEC for purposes of accessing the assessment portal.

2.1.3    The KNEC assessment portal will be accessible to enable headteachers  to capture and upload biodata of learners in their schools including:

a)        Class;

b)        Name of learner;

c)        Year of Birth;

d)        Gender;

e)        Religious Education (CRE/IRE/HRE)  subject option (for Standard 7 and 8);

f)         Kiswahili/Kenyan  Sign Language (KSL) subject option (for all classes);

g)        Disability (if any).

2.1.4   For learners with special needs and disabilities, provisions will be made in the portal for their data to be appropriately captured, either in the age-based  (regular) or stage-based curriculum pathway.

2.1.5    For Grade 1  to 3 and Standard 5 to 7, schools may key in learners’ biodata online or download an Ms-Excel sheet which will be available on the LCBE Project, 2020 NASMLA platform, key in the details offline then upload the Ms-Excel sheet.

2.1.6   For schools whose Grade 4 learners enrolled for the Monitoring Learner Progress (MLP) assessment  in 2019, their learners’  biodata is already transferred to the LCBE Project, 2020 NASMLA platform.    For this level, schools will be allowed to make amendments on their learners’ biodata online only.

2.1.7   For schools whose Standard 8 candidates registered for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination in 2020, their learners’  biodata is already transferred to the LCBE Project, 2020 NASMLA platform. For this level, schools will not be allowed to make any amendments on the database.

2.1.8    The enrolment portal will remain open for schools to upload/amend their learners’ biodata throughout the assessment period for each level except for Standard 8.

2.2       Administration of the assessment at school level

2.2.1     The assessments shall be administered at school level by teachers, under the guidance of their respective headteachers.

2.2.2    All the assessment tools have been developed based on the  topics/strands of the syllabus/curriculum designs which should have been covered by March  2020. The content/skills covered in previous classes/grades will also be assessed.

2.2.3    The assessments will therefore serve as end-of-term or formative/classroom assessments and shall be conducted under similar conditions.

2.2.4   Prior to the actual assessment, headteachers are requested to download the following documents from the LCBE Project, 2020 NASMLA platform to enable them to prepare adequately for the assessment:

a)     Assessment schedules (timetables);

b)    Advance Instructions for Mathematics (Grade 4);

c)    Advance instructions on Assessment of learners with special needs and disabilities.

2.3      Preparations before the Assessment

The following are the preparations that must be put in place before conduct of the assessments:

2.3.1   Institutional COVID-19 Response Committee shall ensure preparedness and compliance to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

2.3.2   The headteacher will ensure availability ofthe infrastructure for downloading and printing of assessment tools as well as uploading of scores.

2.3.3   Briefing and sensitization of personnel involved in the assessment to be cascaded as follows:

i)         Regional, County and Sub-County MoE and TSC officials;

ii)        CSOs and Headteachers;

iii)       Teachers administering the assessment; and

iv)       Learners.

2.3.4   Headteachers should ensure adherence to administrative circulars,  including assessment schedules (timetables).

2.3.5    The headteacher shall provide the enrolment data of learners through the KNEC portal (before closure in March 2020 and after reopening of schools).

2.3.6   Headteachers   should  have   all  the   assessment   materials   printed   and   ready   for administration all days printed and ready for administration a day before the start of the assessment. The assessment materials to be printed include:

i)         Assessment tools as indicated in the Assessment schedules (timetables);

ii)        Advance instructions (where applicable);

iii)       Scoring guides (at the appropriate times after administration of the assessment);

iv)       Learners’ questionnaire for Grade 4, Standard 6 and 8.

2.3.7   To ensure  security and  safety,  the printed  assessment tools should be stored in the headteacher’s office in a lockable cabinet.

2.3.8   The stored assessment tools shall be retrieved and issued to the teacher conducting the assessment as per the assessment schedule (timetable).

2.3. 9   Headteachers of schools facing challenges with printing ofassessment tools and uploading scores should liaise with their respective SCDEs for assistance. For schools without JCT facilities,  the SCDE shall ensure that downloading and uploading ofassessment tools and data is undertaken  in a learning institution (such as nearby primary/secondary schools, TTCs,  TTis and universities);

2.3 .10  SCDEs facilitate printing of hardcopies of assessment materials and keying in of scores for identified public schools that completely lack  access to internet connectivity and are far-flung.

2.4       Conduct of the Assessment

On each day of the assessment, the following activities shall be undertaken:

2.4.1    Headteachers shall inspect classrooms to ensure health and safety ofteachers and learners;

2.4.2    As is the case during end-of-term  assessments,  teachers  shall ensure that there are no

stimulus materials in the classrooms;

2.4.3    Teachers shall confirm the attendance of learners,  account for any absentees and brief

them on the conduct of the assessment. In particular, teachers should inform the learners that the assessments are not examinations;

2.4.4   Teachers  shall  collect  assessment  tools  from  the  headteacher   and  administer  the

assessment while ensuring that all learners, including those with special needs and disabilities,  are provided  with the appropriate  assessment  tools  and assistive  devices where applicable;

2.4.5    Teachers should allow all learners to complete the assessment  regardless  of the time indicated on the assessment tool. They should collect the learners’ work at the end of the

assessment and return the materials to the headteacher;

2.4.6    At the end of the assessment, teachers shall be issued with the scoring guides by the headteacher at the specified time(s) and score the learners’ responses in adherence to the guidelines provided;

2.4.7   Teachers shall upload the learners’  scores on the KNEC assessment portal and hand over hard copies of the scoresheets and other related materials to the headteacher;

2.4.8    Teachers shall assist the headteacher to fill the online questionnaire  by providing key information about learners.

2.5   Assessment of Learners with special needs and disabilities

The following are the arrangements put in place for learners with special needs and disabilities:

2.5.1    KNEC shall provide appropriate assessment tools for learners following the stage-based pathway;

2.5.2   KNEC  shall adapt  assessment  tools  for  learners  with  special  needs  and  disabilities (Hearing  Impairment,  Visually  Impairment  and  Physical  Disabilities)  following  the regular pathway for all classes.

It is important that teachers identify learners with physical disabilities and ensure that they are provided with the appropriate adapted assessment tools.

2.6   Scoring and uploading of learners’ assessment scores

The following procedure shall be used to score and upload learners’  scores after the assessment:

2.6.1    Scoring shall commence immediately after the administration of the assessment tools;

2.6.2    The scoring guides shall be released on the KNEC portal a day after the assessment of the tools;

2.6.3    Teachers  shall singly or in collaboration with other teachers  in the school, score the learners’ work guided by the scoring guides provided;

2.6.4    Uploading of the scores may be done online or offline;

2.6.5    After uploading the learners’ details and scores, the teacher responsible shall hand over the scoresheets to the headteacher.

2.6.6    The scoring and uploading process shall be completed not later than ten (10) days after completion of the assessment.

2. 7      Questionnaires

2.7.1    Apart from the assessment tools, the following questionnaires shall be filled:

i)         Headteacher’s questionnaire;

ii)        Learner’s questionnaire:

2.7.2    The learner’s questionnaire shall be administered to all learners in Grade 4 and Standard 8.

2. 7 .3     The teacher will key in the responses ofthe learners’ questionnaires on the LCBE  Project, 2020 NASMLA platform .

2.8 Materials to be accounted for at the end of the assessment

At the end of the assessment, the headteacher shall be expected to keep the following documents:

2.8.1    Learners’ assessment tools;

2.8.2    Hard copies of score-sheets;

2.8.3    Any reports arising from the assessment.

3.0      ROLES OF FIELD OFFICERS

The following are the roles of the field officers from both Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) who shall be involved in administration of the assessments:

3.1      Regional Director of Education (RDE)

The RDE is overall in charge ofthe successful conduct ofthe assessment in the region. The officer is answerable to MoE and by delegation to KNEC and is expected to coordinate the conduct of the exercise.

3.2      TSC Regional Director (TSC RD)

The TSC RD is answerable to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and by delegation to KNEC in ensuring that the teaching staff in the region conduct the assessment as expected.

3.3       County Director of Education (CDE)

The CDE is answerable to MoE and by delegation to KNEC for the successful conduct of the assessment and is expected to oversee the process within the County.

3.4      TSC County Director (TSC CD)

The TSC County Director is answerable to TSC and by delegation to KNEC for the conduct of the assessment in the County and is expected to oversee the conduct of the teaching staff during the assessment period.

3.5       SubCounty Director of Education (SCDE)

The SCDE is answerable to the CDE and by delegation to KNEC for the successful administration of the assessment in the Sub-County. The SCDE is expected to coordinate:

3.5.1     receipt and issue of all circulars from KNEC;

3.5.2    identification  of new schools/schools  whose details are not in the KNEC database and uploading of their details on the assessment portal;

3 .5 .3    identification of schools that closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate placement of the affected learners in other learning institutions to ensure that all learners are assessed;

3.5.4    briefing of headteachers and education officers in liaison with TSC Sub-County Director and KNEC officers (where applicable) on the assessment;

3.5.5    successful conduct of the assessment, which will require the following:

i)           Internet connectivity;

ii)         Working  Digital  Literacy  Programm e  (DLP)  devices  such  as  laptops,  desktop computers, projectors, printers  and any other equipment  that  facilitates  ease of downloading of assessment tools and uploading of learners’  scores;

iii)        Adequate and well ventilated classrooms;

iv)         Secure storage for the headteacher to keep the assessment materials;

v)         Adequate furniture for the learners and teachers;

vi)        Compliance with the COVID-19 health and safety   protocols in learning institutions;

3 .5 .6     downloading of assessment tools, uploading learners’ scores, filling of questionnaires and submission of related data to KN EC as expected;

3 .5. 7     provision of information regarding the assessment in their Sub-County;

3.5.8    provision of the required assistance to schools in case of any emerging challenges during conduct of the assessment;

3.5.9    reporting to the CDE on the conduct of the assessment.

3.6       Quality Assurance & Standards Officer (QASO)

The QASO is answerable to the SCDE and by delegation to KNEC for the successful administration of the assessment in the Sub-County. In liaison with the SCDE, the QASO is expected to:

3. 6 .1     ensure that all circulars from KNEC on the assessment are disseminated;

3.6.2    identify new schools within the Sub-County and ensure that their details are uploaded on the KNEC portal;

3.6.3   identify schools whose details are not in the KNEC database and upload their details on the assessment portal;

3.6.4   coordinate downloading  of assessment tools, uploading  of learners’  scores,  filling of questionnaires and submission to KNEC which will require the following:

i)         Internet connectivity;

ii)        Working Digital  Literacy Programme  (DLP) devices  such as laptops,  desktop computers,  projectors,  printers and any other equipment that facilitates ease of downloading of assessment tools and uploading of learners’ scores;

iii)       Adequate and well ventilated classrooms;

iv)       Secure storage for the headteacher to keep the assessment materials;

v)        Adequate furniture for the learners and teachers;

vi)       Compliance   with  the   COVID-19  health  and   safety  protocols   m  learning institutions;

3.6.5   provide  the  required  assistance  to  schools  m  case  of  challenges  m  the  process  of conducting the assessment.

3.7       TSC Sub-County Director (TSC SCD)

The TSC Sub-County Director (TSC SCD) is answerable to the TSC County Director and by delegation to KNEC for the successful conduct of the assessment in the Sub-County.  The TSC SCD is expected to coordinate:

3. 7.1     receipt of all circulars on conduct of the assessment from KNEC;

3. 7 .2    supervision of the conduct of headteachers  and teachers  during administration  of the assessment;

3.7.3    briefing  of headteachers  and education  officers  in  liaison  with the  SCDE  and KNEC officers (where applicable) on the assessment;

3.7.4    administration  of the  assessment  in  adherence  to  the  TSC  Code  of Regulations for teachers;  Code of Conduct and Ethics for  teachers;  and the KNEC  guidelines  on the Conduct ofthe School Based learning Assessments;

3.7.5   provision of information and any other support regarding the assessment of learners  in their Sub-Counties.

3.8       Curriculum Support Officer (CSO)

The CSO is answerable to the TSC Sub-County Director and by delegation to KNEC for the successful conduct of assessment in the zone.    The CSO is expected to:

3.8.1     disseminate information on the conduct of the assessment;

3.8.2    support  headteachers  to  ensure  availability  of assessment  tools  for the  learners  and uploading of the assessment scores upon completion of the assessment;

3.8.3   monitor and support teachers within the zone and report any challenges to the TSC Sub County Director;

3.8.4   participate in the briefing of headteachers on the conduct of the assessment;

3.8.5   provide information and any other support regarding assessment in the zone.

3.9   Headteacher

The headteacher is responsible for ensuring that assessment in the school is conducted according to the KNEC guidelines. The headteacher is therefore expected to perform the following roles:

3 .9 .1          Providing  accurate  information  on learners  and other administrative  aspects  of the school;

3.9.2 Liaising with the SCDE (in the case of new schools/schools that are not in the KNEC portal) to be issued with a username and password by KNEC for purposes of accessing the assessment portal;

3.9.3 Briefing the teachers on the conduct of the assessment;

3.9.4 Ensuring that all learners are provided with the appropriate assessment tools;

3.9.5 Ensuring that the assessment is conducted in the normal school assessment setting;

3.9.6 Verifying and confirming that all learners are accounted for and that their biodata are accurately captured on the assessment portal (including details of learners with special needs and disabilities);

3.9.7 Ensuring that all those involved in the assessment adhere to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols;

3.9.8 Ensuring secure storage of assessment tools and all other related materials;

3.9.9 Handing over the assessment tools and scoring guides to the teachers at the appropriate times as stipulated on the assessment schedules (timetables);

3.9.10     Ensuring that all learners’  scores are accounted for at the end of the assessment by uploading their scores for all subjects/learning areas within the stipulated timelines and providing information on learners who are absent;

3.9.11 Ensuring secure storage ofthe hard copies of score-sheets and other assessment records;

3.9.12 Ensuring that all questionnaires are duly filled and submitted to KNEC;

3.9.13 Supervising the conduct of the assessment throughout the process to ensure adherence to guidelines;

3 .9.14     Liaising with their respective SCDE for assistance in case of any challenge;

3.9.15     Reporting to the SCDE on the conduct of the assessment.

3.10     Teacher

The teacher administering the assessment is expected to perform the following roles:

3 .10.1      Receive advance instructions for the conduct ofassessment from the headteacher (where applicable) and prepare appropriately;

3.10.2 Prepare the classroom(s) to be used for administration of the assessment; ;

3.10.3 Brief the learners on what is expected of them during the conduct of assessment;

3.10.4 Administer the assessment in accordance to the instructions provided for each tool and in adherence to COVID-19 health and safety protocols;

3.10.5 Receive the assessment tools and related materials from the headteacher

3 .10.6     Score and upload the learners’  details and scores on the assessment portal within the stipulated time and indicate learners who are absent as AB;

3 .10. 7      Hand over the scoresheets and other assessment materials to the headteacher.

4.0       REPORTING ON THE ASSESSMENT

The assessments are formative in nature and as such, teachers are expected to communicate the outcomes to individual learners and parents at the end of the assessment.   

At national  level, the outcomes of the assessments shall be used strictly for purposes of reporting on possible learning gaps and the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on learning with a view to inform policy on interventions that need to be put in place to mitigate the effects.  

The outcomes shall therefore not be used for purposes of ranking or any other comparison of learners or schools.

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