What is Competency Based Assessment (CBA)?
KNEC says that the Competency Based Assessment (CBA) is a purposeful systematic continuous process of gathering information from multiple sources for making decisions on what learners know, needs to learn, has learned and can do. It involves creating opportunities for learners to apply the knowledge, skills attitudes and values they have learnt to solve real world problems.
Are CBA and CBC the same thing?
Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) is the curriculum or the umbrella structure that guides how teaching is to be conducted. It is falls under the mandate of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD). On the other hand, Competency Based Assessment (CBA) is the process of determining the capability of a learner to apply a set of related Knowledge, Skills, Values and Attitudes required to successfully perform a task. The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) is mandated to carry out assessments as envisaged in the Basic Education Curriculum Framework (BECF) based on the CBC Designs.
The following are the ways CBA is structured for institutionalization in CBC.
(a) Classroom assessment: This is a continuous assessment and is carried out at the entire basic level of education (thus, at early years, middle school and at senior school). The teacher develops the assessment tools.
(b) School-based assessment: This assessment starts from Grade 4 to Grade 12. KNEC develops and uploads the tools for this assessment on the Council’s website. The teacher downloads the tools from the website and administers them to the learners.
(c) Summative assessment: The National Assessment shall be carried out at Grades 6, 9 and 12 to inform policy and education stakeholders on level specific interventions for quality education of our learners.
When are the Assessments Conducted?
- At the end of Pre-Primary 2: The learners are assessed internally then all transition to Grade 1 in Lower Primary (Grades 1, 2, 3).
- At Grade 3: They take a school-based national assessment that is not used for ranking or placement, after which they all proceed to Upper Primary (Grades 4, 5, 6).
- Upper Primary assessments: Learners are assessed at each of the Upper Primary grades to track their learning progress ahead of the National Assessment at Grade 6. The school-based assessments will account for 60 per cent of the total score.
- At Grade 6: A summative assessment is administered at the end of Grade 6 which will comprise the remaining 40 per cent of the total scores. This marks the end of the primary cycle. Performance of the learners at this level and their interests will be used to place them in junior secondary school (JSS, Grades 7, 8 and 9).
- At Grade 9: Learners will again be formatively assessed with a summative assessment at the end of Junior Secondary School (JSS) (Grade 9). Their scores and preferences will be used for placement in senior secondary school (SSS) where they will follow one of their preferred career pathways.
Parents’ Role in the Child’s Education
In the CBC curriculum, the parent plays a significant role in the learning process of the child, whether they are educated or not.
A parent is the first and most important educator in a child’s life. A parent is usually a child’s role model, and the child will usually mirror the parent’s actions and behaviour. Parental influence, therefore, contributes highly in determining the learner’s outcome in school.
Parents can help in nurturing their children through the following ways:
- Provide enabling environment conducive to learning.
- Instill values and promote positive attitudes in the child towards the family and the community.
- Be involved in the child’s learning by engaging them, understanding them and monitoring their progress.
- Provide learners with available or accessible resources for extended activities.
A parent’s level of education does not matter. The parent should get to know the child’s experiences in school and offer psychological support.