Education CS, George Magoha

Proposed new curriculum by KNEC scraps report cards

No child in class three and subsequently those below them, will be subjected to repeating a class on basis of poor performance this year.

Further, the learners will not need examinations or a report card this year to move to the next class.

This is according to the proposed new curriculum assessment framework by Kenya National Examination Council(KNEC) that seeks to standardise testing of learners under the new curriculum.

Instead of subject performance, the learners are set to be gauged on a number of skills, progress of classwork assignments, participation in class, and extra-curricular activities.

This is a shift from the current administration on examination that schools set examinations at the end of each term and is widely used to communicate a child’s performance in school.

This will not gauge the learners performance but rather improve learning process.

KNEC chief executive officer Mercy Karogo said examining learners under the new curriculum will seize to be about exams but rather a way of improving the learning process.

The grading will put into account a set of challenges learners will be required to solve.

She notes this will help parents to look at the bigger picture when it comes to their child’s report card grades.

“At the end of Grade 3, KNEC will provide teachers with standardised assessment tools, which teachers will administer, score and give feedback to the learners on their achievement of the set competencies,” Karogo told the Star yesterday on phone.

In grading learners, the examinations will only be used by teachers to understand the weaknesses and strengths of individual learners.

In Kenya, children are given report cards three times a year as they close schools in April, August and December.

Stigma

Parents often rely heavily on report cards to see how well their child is performing at school, but recent research suggests that it may not be the best barometer of students’ academic performance.

In the US, a study titled Parents 2018: Going Beyond Good Grades by non-profit, Learning Heroes, suggests there may be a disconnect between grades in report cards and actual academic achievement.

Psychiatrist and former head of Mathari hospital Njagi Kumantha says report cards have detrimental effects to children as it creates stigma among young learners.

Njagi notes most parents seem to put focus on a child’s problems or deficits rather than assessing their children through the report cards.

In dire cases physical abuse, the results provoked conversations about spanking and discipline, about school achievement and behavior.

“Some schools parade and award best performers, in some cases, they also shame the worst performers. Now this has a negative effect on children as some of them end up having self esteem issues and blocks a child from even working to improve on their weaknesses because they already have that tag of a loser,” Njagi told the Star yesterday.

However, the proposal is a hot potato in the mouth of some parent who doubt the current staffing ratio in public schools will effectively deliver the intended learning outcomes.

To enable all learners move forward, teachers are required to pay special attention on their weakness and help them by move with the learners pace.

Kenya Parents Association chairman Nicholas Maiyo yesterday said,

“We call on parliament to re-look at the TSC budget and allocate more funds to employ teachers who will help actualise outcomes intended under the new curriculum,” Maiyo told the Star yesterday.

The Star

Photo Credits: The Star

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