Teachers’ Perception on the Role of Quality Assurance and Standards Officers in Public Secondary Schools in Busia Sub-County
Ogandoh, George Linnarex
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This was an investigation into teachers‟ perception on the role of Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASOs) in relation to teaching in public secondary schools in Busia Sub-county. The main objectives of this study were to; determine the role played by QASOs in school assessment as perceived by teachers, establish teachers‟ perceptions on the frequency of QASOs visits to schools, describe teachers‟ attitudes towards the role of QASOs in school assessment, investigate whether teachers‟ gender, professional and academic qualifications and their past experiences influence their perceptions on the role of QASOs and finally to determine whether QASOs behaviour during school assessment influences the teachers‟ perceptions on the role of QASO. The study was based on the Expectancy theory by Lewin and Tolman (1932). The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The target population was 29 public secondary school headteachers, 304 teachers and 8 QASOs in Busia Sub-county. Simple random sampling design was used to sample the schools and the respondents. Questionnaires for teachers and interview schedules for headteachers and QASOs were used to provide quantitative and qualitative data. Before actual data analysis was done, a pilot study was conducted in two schools to assist in improving the reliability and validity of the research instruments. The collected data were coded and fed in the computer using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The analysis was based on frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviation and subsequently presented in form of tables, charts and graphs. The study established that teachers were not aware of all the roles played by QASOs, with most of them being aware only of the monitoring roles. This is despite the fact that QASOs are expected to inspire, stimulate, co-ordinate and guide teachers in their professional growth so as to promote initiative, freedom, resourcefulness and enthusiasm among teachers. This lack of awareness had a negative impact on the perception of teachers on the role of QASOs. Although 50% of the teachers had positive attitudes toward assessment exercise by QASOs, there were various factors that influenced teachers‟ attitudes, with the most salient ones being past experiences with QASOs and teachers‟ level of preparedness and professionalism. Most of the teachers related with the QASOs as friends, though there were those who had a negative feeling about QASOs, noting that the QASOs give ambiguous statements and comments. Therefore, the study recommends that the Ministry of Education should organize seminars, workshops and INSET courses for teachers on the role of QASOs. Such programs would enable teachers to interact freely with QASOs and learn of the opportunities available for teachers to improve their job performance through assessments; the Ministry of Education should also sponsor QASOs to attend courses on school assessment as well as conducting research geared toward improving the school assessment exercise; QASOs should handle the assessment exercise in such a way that any teachers who had developed negative attitudes toward the exercise due to past experiences with QASOs change such attitudes; and, QASOs should also visit schools more frequently for assessment and where possible have follow-up mechanisms in order to ensure that their recommendations are implemented.