Minimum Laptop Specifications Required for Teacher Learners taking KNEC Exams in Kenya

Quick Summary:

  • Kenya National Examinations Board (KNEC) mandates specific laptop requirements for teacher learners taking national exams in 2024.
  • Eight minimum specifications are outlined by KNEC for laptops to be used in online assessment tests.
  • The deadline for acquiring these laptops is set for April 30, 2024, posing financial challenges for many learner instructors.

Introduction:

Considering the changing landscape of education and the increasing use of technology, the Kenya National Examinations Board (KNEC) has made an adjustment to the requirements for teacher trainees participating in exams. To adapt to the shift towards online assessment methods, KNEC has specified minimum laptop specifications needed to attempt these assessments for those enrolled in teacher training programs.

Just recently, KNEC circulated a notice to all Principals of teacher training institutions stressing the importance of learner instructors having laptops for exams. While this directive aims to modernize assessment approaches and align with the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), it poses some challenges, especially considering limitations faced by learner instructors.

Minimum Specifications Mandated by KNEC:

KNEC has established eight requirements that laptops need to meet in order to be used for online assessment examinations. According to KNEC, these criteria or minimum specifications for laptops is crucial for guaranteeing a seamless exam process and upholding the credibility of the assessments. Here are the specified requirements:

  1. Licensed Windows 10 version 22H2 and above: Ensuring compatibility with the assessment portal and software requirements.
  2. 14-inch screen with a minimum resolution of 1920×1080: Providing optimal display quality for examination materials.
  3. Integrated Webcam: Facilitating remote proctoring and ensuring exam security.
  4. HDD 256GB SSD: Offering sufficient storage capacity for exam-related files and software.
  5. Memory 8GB: Supporting smooth operation and multitasking during the examination process.
  6. Core i3 gen 6 or higher processor: Delivering adequate processing power for running assessment applications.
  7. Internal Battery with a lifespan of more than 3 hours: Ensuring uninterrupted operation, particularly in areas prone to power outages.
  8. IEEE 802.11 Wireless capability (ac, g, or n): Facilitating connectivity to the internet, essential for accessing online examination platforms.

Challenges Faced by Learner Instructors:

The new requirements are meant to improve the standards and reliability of assessments. However, as expected, especially looking at the group of individuals expected to acquire these laptops, they pose some obvious issues for student teachers especially when it comes to costs. Most of the laptops with these kinds of specifications are priced at a minimum of Ksh 24,000 if you opt for refurbished models. For newer models you can expect a higher price which obviously will create strain for those already struggling with tuition fees and other expenses related to teacher training programs. Additionally, the deadline set by KNEC for getting these laptops by April 30, 2024, puts stress on student teachers to gather the needed funds in a very short period.

Where to buy

Looking at the specifications and the notice period given by the examining body, the only place you can easily purchase these laptops is from retail shops, and here in Nairobi they are available in plenty in places like Tom Mboya Street, Kimathi street and of course Jamia mall.

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