The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) has issued a crucial directive affecting all Diploma teacher trainees preparing for national assessments in 2024. According to a circular addressed to all Principals of Diploma Teacher Training Colleges, KNEC has made it mandatory for trainee teachers to possess a laptop to facilitate the online assessment tests scheduled for this year.
Key Requirements for the Laptop
The Council has outlined eight minimum requirements that the laptops must meet for trainee teachers to participate in the online assessment tests. These specifications include having a licensed Windows 10 version 22H2 and above, a 14-inch screen with a minimum resolution of 1920×1080, an integrated webcam, 256GB SSD or HDD, 8GB memory, Core i3 generation 6 and above, an internal battery lasting more than 3 hours, and IEEE 802.11 wireless capability (ac, g, or n).
Financial Challenge for Trainee Teachers
This directive, however, presents a financial challenge for many trainee teachers who are already grappling with fee arrears and other charges associated with the new training aligned with the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). The circular by KNEC CEO David Njengere has stirred concerns among trainee teachers who may find it burdensome to acquire the specified laptops, especially considering the estimated cost of at least Ksh 24,000 for a refurbished device.
Deadline for Laptop Acquisition
To further compound the situation, KNEC has set a deadline for trainee teachers to acquire the laptops. The circular stipulates that all teacher trainees must have the specified laptops by 30th April 2024; failure to comply may result in being barred from the assessments, which are vital for their certification.
The Electronic Shift in Assessments
KNEC emphasizes that all assessments for various Teacher Education courses in 2024, including Diploma in Primary Teacher Education, Diploma in Early Childhood Teacher Education, Upgrade Diploma in Primary Teacher Education, Upgrade Diploma in Early Childhood Teacher Education, and Diploma in Secondary Teacher Education, will be administered electronically through the Competency-Based Assessment and Testing Environment (CBATE) portal.
Preparation by Training Colleges
In response to this electronic shift in assessments, the circular urges Principals of Diploma Teacher Training Colleges to make adequate preparations for the assessment. This includes ensuring the required ICT infrastructure is in place for the effective administration of School Based Assessments (SBA) and Summative Assessments online, using the KNEC e-assessment portal.
The directive by KNEC marks a significant transition towards electronic assessments, presenting both opportunities and challenges for Diploma teacher trainees. The financial burden associated with acquiring laptops raises concerns, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to support trainees and ensure a smooth implementation of the new assessment format.