New Research Shows That CBC Has Reduced Learners' Ability To Read In English And Kiswahili

Grade 3 and 5 CBC Questions Practical, essays, applications-no multiple choice

Learners undertaking school-based national assessments are subjected to short essay responses and practical activities which are scored.

Details from the ongoing Grade 3, 4 and 5 assessments indicate elimination of the multiple-choice questions associated with the previous 8-4-4 system.

The questions given require the learners to apply the knowledge they acquired during classroom  lessons.

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These are the new realities of assessments under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) being rolled out in the new 2-6-3-3-3 education system.

The assessments, which are set to end on Friday , will give learners a maximum of 20 marks, totaling to 60 at the end of Grade Six.

The end of primary national examination that will be administered at the end of Grade Six will only constitute 40 marks. Grade Six learners therefore will not only sit the school-based assessments for the 20 marks, but will also write a national examination managed by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) at the end of their education.

Examinations under CBC regime are referred to as Competency Based Assessments (CBA) and they entail a balance between formative and summative assessments to inform the feedback on learning progress and transition across the various levels of basic and tertiary education and training.

Across the school assessments, teachers use tools such as written tests, observation schedules, assessment rubrics, project portfolios, checklists, questionnaire, oral/aural questioning, anecdotal records and journals.

Overall under CBC, learners in Grade 1 to 3 are taught literacy, Kiswahili Language Activities/Kenya Sign Language for learners who are deaf, English Language Activities, Indigenous Language Activities and Mathematical Activities.

They are also taught Environmental Activities, Hygiene and Nutrition Activities, Religious Education Activities, Movement and Creative Activities.

A section of primary school teachers revealed that each question in the ongoing assessments require learners to think and apply knowledge based on items learnt in class.

“The good thing is that for practical subjects, learners are supposed to go out and carry out activities which are scored based on how they perform. This is unlike previous years where even practical questions were done just on paper,” said a teacher.

A Grade Four teacher who said: “Some of these questions were drawn from class activities that were done practical sessions and its basically assessing children’s understanding.”


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