The effectiveness of quality assurance and standards officers in school supervison and performance: the case of secondary schools in Nakuru District
Mwinyipembe, M. Mohammed
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The purpose of the study was to determine the role of Quality Assurance and Standards Officers on secondary schools performing in national examinations in Nakuru district based on the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) for the years 2003 to 2008. The researcher chose the district because the KCSE results have not been pleasant compared to the national aggregate whose maximum point aggregate is 12 on the scale. Specifically, in 2003 the district registered a standard mean score of 5.18. In 2004 it registered a mean of 5.26. In 2005, there was a small gain of 0.11 leading to a mean score of 5.29 while in 2006; the district attained mean of 5.2, indicating a decline of 0.9. The mean score went down further to 5.00 in 2007. However, in 2008 the mean standard score increased to 5.1. Arising from the aforementioned, the mean had either been static or insignificantly improved within the period 2003 to 2008. The researcher sampled 9 secondary schools out of 46 (21.2%) and 82 teachers out of 818 (10.1%) in Nakuru district. In addition, all the 5 Quality Assurance and Standard Officers (100%) in Nakuru district office being a small number were taken as respondents. It should be noted that the Quality Assurance and Standards Officers are mandated to undertake education quality assurance supervisory role in the entire Nakuru District. There were three research instruments used during the research, namely; Quality Assurance and Standards Officers' interview Schedule (QASOs), Head Teacher Questionnaire (HTQ), and Secondary School Teachers' Questionnaire (SSTQ). The researcher used descriptive statistics that included; frequency, percentages illustrated in tables and charts to analyse information generated from the respondents. The findings revealed that all the QASOs have the required academic and professional qualifications. Majority have long periods of experience in undertaking supervisory roles in curriculum implementation. However, they are faced with challenges in responding to their duties due to inadequate facilitation. Also, in some instances where they have performed their duties, their recommendations are not acted upon by either the head teacher or the Ministry of Education. The analysis indicates that QASOs roles are viewed positively by both the hedteachers with expectations towards improving institutional performance. Given the wide range of supervisory roles, it is recommended that QASOs be provided with in- depth training on utilization of assesment techniques so as to provide informed advisory role to enhance teaching and learning outcomes.