Performance Competitions Raise the Game

In Kenya, success on National exams is integral to a student’s secondary school placement. Providing students with the opportunity to write mock exams allows them to better understand the process and the stressors of writing standardized tests. This mock exam process does well to alleviate test anxiety as students learn strategies for coping with the stress of both studying for and then sitting these exams.

In July 2011 the Asante Africa Foundation assisted with the administering of mock performance exams held at the Enkare Ngiro Primary School and the Ole Sankale Primary School in Kenya. This year, not only did Asante Africa fund 16 schools to come together to compete in the Enkare Ngiro Mock Exam Competition, but it also added 16 more schools in a second zone, Ole Sankale zone. In total 32 schools were involved this year with 944 students.

First Zone Group hosted at Enkare N’giro

The students at Enkare Ng’iro reported to the school and they were paired with their student host’s and billeted in the Enkare Ngiro region. The young Kenyans were so excited that they had an opportunity to meet new friends. The host students provided their visitors with an orientation of the area, and by the end of the day it was clear that new friendships were blossoming amidst the group.

Much thanks needs to be given to the entire community, teachers, students, and parents included, all of whom pitched in to prepare food and ensure that the visiting students were comfortable. The preparations of the host school, its Head teacher, and the various committees helped to make everything run smoothly: food was purchased ahead of time and accommodations were arranged for the visiting teachers.

Second Zone Group hosted at Ole Sankale School
At the Enkare Ng’iro primary school, the process of administering the mock exam was a repeat of what they did last year, but for the Ole Sankale primary school it was a new experience. Ole Sankale benefitted a great deal from the lessons learned the previous year at Enkare Ng’iro. The planning was precise with the assistance of representatives from the Ministry of Education Office. The planning committee included the Head teachers of all the schools involved in writing the exams.

The Ole Sankale exam followed the standard procedures that are involved in the writing of National exams. This attracted a visit from the district education office, representatives of which were impressed by the organization of the exam. The duty to coordinate the exam was delegated to the exam committee, which did not let the schools down. Ole Sankale Primary Boarding school provided its school bus to ferry students and teachers from J.S Ole Naeku centre to Masikonde centre for the awards ceremony on the final day. All the details of the National exam were adhered to including printing the exam scripts in colors similar to those used on the National exams.

At the end of the exams, teachers went away excited and eager to “beat the competition” next time. As well, the students left less wary of the exam writing process and were eager to get back to improving their scores for next year. More importantly, new friendships were forged between the teachers, parents, and students who participated in this invaluable process. Asante Africa is honored to be a part of this process that is showing improved results across the districts.

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