Grade 4, Class 8 assessment tests ongoing as headteachers in Webuye schools outline challenges

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Lugulu boarding primary school headteacher Patrick Wangatia addressing the press in his office

Assessment exams for class eight and grade four pupils are progressing well in many schools especially in Webuye East and West, though some school headteachers have said budgetary challenges are still evident.

According to the headteacher of Lugulu mixed primary school in Misikhu ward, Webuye West constituency, Josphat Opiyo, his school has a candidature of 202 pupils in class eight and almost the same number in grade three. He said he was informed of the assessment exams a few hours prior to the the set date and they were supposed to download exam papers using their cash, something which isn’t easy since many schools are facing tough financial times. He added that all candidates and even grade four pupils have reported back to school and are doing the exams. He noted that news of the exams ensured all grade four and class eight pupils reported back to school and requested the Education Ministry to work closely with headteachers so that they can avoid a last minute rush if such an arrangement comes up again in the near future.

In Cheng’oli primary school, the head teacher lauded the timing of the exams, saying it has ensured many grade four and class eight pupils have reported back to school. However, she said the long break at home has affected many students, since they haven’t read. She added that in Cheng’oli, the tests began without a hitch and that if they are well supervised countrywide, will act as a yardstick and determinant to gauge the pupils’ preparation and performance levels.

In Lugulu boarding primary school, the headteacher Mr. Patrick Wangatia said they are facing a few challenges but the most pertinent is observing social distancing, especially during class and lunch break hours, especially for grade four pupils and this may pose a risk of Covid-19 spread. He said some candidates, four boys, haven’t reported back, however, owing to late dates of circumcision and they are still healing. He faulted the parents for prioritizing cultural matters over education, and urged parents who’ve kept kids at home to send them to school.