Kenya: Tutors in Private Schools 'To Blame' for Grade 3 Tests Goof

19 September 2019

Teachers in public schools have blamed their counterparts in the private sector for administering Grade Three tests in an examination setting, contrary to instructions.

A headteacher at a public primary school in Meru Wednesday said it was clear from the beginning that they were not supposed to subject pupils to examinations.


However, a majority of schools in major towns administered the assessment in exam-like settings, as was the norm in the old education system.

"We are embarrassed that people have branded us failures. How could we fail in Grade Three tests yet we're the teachers? Those who took children through examinations did not follow the instructions," the headteacher said on condition of anonymity.

He, however, said that in the rural areas where parents cannot afford some of the materials, teachers were forced to chip in and buy them using their own money since they were not allowed to charge parents any fees.

At Meru Primary School, the Grade Three class teacher had to seek the help of two colleagues to take the 37 pupils through the oral practicals.

Headteacher Judith Ntumbari said the teacher would have been overwhelmed by the large number since the pupils should be assessed individually.

"The class teacher could not handle the entire class talking with everyone; she would be very tired. I allowed her to get assistance from teachers at Grade One and Grade Two," she said.

The class teacher handled 15 while her colleagues had 11 each.


Ms Ntumbari said that at first there was confusion after word went round that the timetable they were using was fake.

At Nyeri Primary School, 165 pupils continued with the English language reading out loud paper.

The school principal, Vincent Mwangi, said the exercise went on smoothly with the only hiccup being that the large number of pupils.

"Our only problem is that we have many students and we have had to get some teachers from other classes who are CBC-trained to help with the exercise," he said, adding, printing of the assessment papers was expensive. They had not received any allocations from the ministry.

At Mugunda Primary, 37 pupils sat the assessment paper. Headteacher James Mbogo said the exercise went on smoothly.

Reporting by Gitonga Marete, Reginah Kinogu and Charles Wanyoro

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