KNEC Releases Guidelines for the 2020 Grade 4 CBC Assesment

 

National exams set for March 23, 2021

By Winnie Kabintie

The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) has released details of the scheduled assessments for the 2020 Grade 4 pupils in the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

The assessment,  which is scheduled for March 23, 2021, will form 20 percent of the final Grade 6 mark under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

KNEC Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo said the council will upload Grade 4 age-based and intermediate level stage-based assessment tools by March 7 for schools to use and access.

Karogo called on schools to download and administer the assessment tools, scores and upload the results of Grade 4 learners on the Council’s CBC assessment portal between March 8 and 19.

“Materials required for performing the assessment tasks should be improvised as much as possible within the immediate school environment,” Karogo said in a statement.

Student Assessment Number

Each learner in the database will be issued with an assessment number, automatically generated by the Council ICT system, that will be used to identify the learners during future assessments.

According to the Knec Boss, “Schools will be expected to inform parents and learners of their assessment numbers which will be used throughout their basic education cycle for KNEC assessment”.

All candidates, including Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate Secondary Examinations (KCSE), who missed the national exams following the nationwide schools’ closure in 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak,  are expected sit for their examinations from March 23, 2021.

KCPE exams will be concluded on March 24 with the KCSE examination marking expected to commence on April 19 and be concluded on May 7.

The scheduled assessment of the current Grade 4 learners, who are the pioneer class of the new CBC curriculum that was adopted by Kenya in 2017 to replace the 8-4-4 system, is a national examination that will form 20 percent of the final Grade 6 mark before the students can join Junior Secondary school at Grade 7.

The grade four learners have two more years in primary school in Grade 5 and six. Unlike with the 844 system where learners took eight years in primary school before joining high school, under the Competency-Based Curriculum, students will only take six years before joining junior high school.

7 Core competencies of CBC

The assessment in the competency-based evaluates  learners in the following seven competences;

  1. Communication and collaboration
  2. Critical thinking and problem solving
  3. Imagination and creativity
  4. Citizenship
  5. Learning to learn
  6. Self-efficacy
  7. Digital literacy

Schools in Kenya fully re-opened in January 4, this year, following the March 2020 closure when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the country.

In October last year, there was a partial re-opening targeting  Form 4, Class 8 candidates and Grade 4 pupils.

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US Warns Al-Shabaab Attack in Kenyan Airspace

The US government has issued a new warning to civilian airlines flying in the Kenyan airspace to watch out for possible attacks by militant groups.

The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said the advisory is consistent with the fact that Somalia-based terrorist group, Al-Shabaab remains in possession of weapons capable of hitting aircraft at low altitudes of up to 25,000 feet — putting at risk arrival and departure phases of flights, especially on the popular aviation route through northeastern Kenya and Somalia.

The US says the Al-Shabaab possesses or has access to, a variety of weapons, including small arms, indirect fire weapons such as mortars and rockets and anti-aircraft-capable weapons, including man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS).

“Such weapons present a risk to civil aircraft operating at low altitudes, including during the arrival and departure phases of flight and/or to airports and aircraft on the ground, especially at remote airfields located east of 40 degrees east longitude. Some MANPADS have the capability to reach a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet,” said the US Aviation regulator.

The air routes covered by the FAA warning include those connecting Nairobi and Far Eastern countries like Dubai (UAE), India and China, among other destinations serviced by major airlines.

Planes plying the routes overpass eastern Kenya counties such as Garissa and exit into neighbouring Somalia.

Additionally, the FAA said, Al-Shabaab is likely to target western civil aviation considering a December 2020 incident in which the US Department of Justice announced the opening of an indictment charging Kenyan-national Cholo Abdi Abdullah with six counts of terrorism-related offences arising from his activities as an operative of the Al-Qaeda-linked terror cell. This included conspiring to hijack aircraft in order to conduct a 9/11-style attack in the US.

“This thwarted attack demonstrates al-Shabaab’s continued desire to attack US interests, potentially including civil aviation. The plot reinforces the United States’ concerns about the risk to US civil aviation in eastern Kenya in the Kenya-Somalia border region and the coastal region of Kenya adjacent to Somalia,” said the US government.

Al shabaab has launched a series of terror attacks in Kenya in protest of “Operation Lindi Nchi”, launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2011. Some of the deadly attacks include the 2013 Westgate Attack, the 2015 Garissa University Attackthat left 148 students dead and the 2019 14 Riverside Drive Dusit Complex attack.

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Covid-19 Vaccine in Kenya

Covid-19 vaccine in Kenya

Healthcare workers, security personnel, teachers, hotel workers, and the elderly are on the priority list of Kenya’s first batch of coronavirus vaccines.

According to a statement by Statehouse, Kenya targets to vaccinate 1.25 million in phase one of the campaign by June.

“The first batch of the country’s Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Kenya on Tuesday. In that regard Cabinet ratified the distribution framework for the vaccine; with first priority being given to healthcare workers, frontline workers including security personnel and teachers vulnerable persons and groups and hospitality sector,” said the Cabinet dispatch.

The second phase of the Covid-19 vaccine in Kenya will be administered between July and next June, targeting 9.7 million people — comprising those above 50 years and those above 18 with underlying medical conditions.

Kenya has so far recorded a total of 105,467 Corona Virus cases, 86,678recoveries, and 1,856 deaths.

What Covid-19 Vaccine is Kenya Using?

Kenya will be using the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Astrazeneca and Oxford University.

The Oxford vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like coronavirus – although it can’t cause illness.

Once injected, it teaches the body’s immune system how to fight the real virus, should it need to.

The recommended dosage is two doses given intramuscularly (0.5ml each) with an interval of 8 to 12 weeks.

The AZD1222 vaccine against COVID-19 has an efficacy of 63.09% against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The government plans to administer the vaccine for free.

UK helps Kenya prepare to roll-out COVID-19 vaccine

Britain said on Wednesday it was helping Kenya prepare to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Astrazeneca and Oxford University, as African nations race to ensure their populations are inoculated.

South Africa had rolled out the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University but later suspended it’s use following a small clinical trial that showed it offered minimal protection against mild to moderate illness from the 501Y.V2 variant dominant in the country.

South Africa Dumps  Oxford’s Vaccine for Johnson & Johnson

South Africa is now using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is administered as a single dose.

The country has received 80,000 doses of this vaccine, which has been shown to be effective against the variant first identified in South Africa.

More than a third of all Covid-19 cases in Africa have been in South Africa, with a new variant of the virus accounting for most of the new cases there.

According to the Worl Health Organisation (WHO), as of 18 February 2021, at least seven different vaccines across three platforms have been rolled out in countries and more than 200 additional vaccine candidates are in development, of which more than 60 are in clinical development.

Vulnerable populations in all countries are the highest priority for vaccination.

“Vaccines are a critical new tool in the battle against COVID-19 and it is hugely encouraging to see so many vaccines proving successful and going into development, ” WHO.

The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has issued interim recommendations for use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (AZD1222).

Among the recommendations is for the Vaccination is to be administered to persons with comorbidities that have been identified as increasing the risk of severe COVID-19, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.

WHO further recommends that priority on COVID-19 vaccine be given to health workers at high risk of exposure and older people, including those aged 65 or older.

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Murder Mystery – Woman, 8-Year old Son and Lover Killed in Nairobi’s Eastlands

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Detectives are investigating a macabre murder of a middle-aged woman, her 8-year-old son and a 35-year-old man, said to be a boyfriend to the deceased woman.

The bodies of the three were discovered in the woman’s house on Tuesday. The house is located in the government quarters along Jogoo Road.

According to the DCI, both mother and son had blood oozing from their mouths and were holding rosaries indicating that they may have prayed for their lives to be spared. Their bodies were found on the floor of their bedroom next to each other while the body of the male adult, was found in the toilet with his hands and legs tied together using electric cables.

The bodies of the mother and child were reportedly partially decomposed but the man’s body was intact.

The house was reportedly in a mess with clothes, shoes and bedding strewn all over the floor, indicating that a struggle must have ensued before the victims met their painful deaths even though Neighbours, who reported having the victims enter the house on Sunday, said they never heard any commotion.

Bodies of the victims were moved to Chiromo mortuary awaiting autopsies.

The woman has since been identified as Charity Cherop Cheboi, an employee of the Registrar of Persons based at Mathare Huduma Centre. The murdered boyfriend, Kelvin Kipkoech, has also been identified as a senior seminarian waiting to graduate as a Catholic priest.

The bodies were discovered after the child’s school administration called his father who does not live with them to find out why the boy did not report to school on Monday and Tuesday.

The father, on failing to reach his son’s mother on phone, went to the house but no one opened it, prompting him to find ways of breaking into the house, located on the third floor.

Cases of murder have been on the rise in the country. The latest incident comes just days after 38-year-old Caroline Wanjiku Maina, was Kidnapped and killed by suspects known to her. The four suspects have since been arrested.

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Kenyans Facing Starvation

Failed rains have added to Kenya’s food security problems

The Global Hunger Report has ranked Kenya among 40 countries with a serious risk of hunger facing a section of its population.

Kenya ranks 84 out of a total 107 countries and has a score of 23.7, which according to The Global Hunger Index is quite “serious”.

The Global Hunger Index incorporates four component indicators: undernourishment, child wasting, child stunting, and child mortality.

According to the GHI report,  23 percent of the population is undernourished. The figure has reduced from 3.4 in the past two decades and the child mortality rate, although decreasing, now stands at 4.1 percent.

The report has attributed the situation to the COVID-19 pandemic, the locusts invasion and climate change.

“The outlook was bad even before Covid-19 but now we have a triple threat in Kenya, including the locust outbreak, the increasing frequency of crisis due to climate change,” said Kelvin Shingles, the Country Director of Welthungerhilfe (WHH), the organisation that produces the Global Hunger Index.

Kitui and West Pokot counties have been reported to have the highest number of children who are stunted.

Food Security

WHH recommends governments to increase support for smallholder farmers to become more sustainable, improving access to agricultural inputs and extension services, strengthening local and regional markets as some of the measures to boost food security.

The Global Hunger Index is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and national levels. The GHI is designed to raise awareness and understanding of the struggle against hunger, provide a means to compare the levels of hunger between countries and regions and call attention to the areas of the world in greatest need of additional resources to eliminate hunger.

 

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