Effectiveness of Instructional Supervision by Quality Assurance Officers on Quality of Education in Secondary Schools in Nairobi and Machakos Counties, Kenya
Mwaniki, Solomon Gitonga
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The concern of guaranteeing quality education provision in educational institutions has aroused scholarly interests globally. In Kenya, with the creation of the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards (DQAS) whose mandate is to act as the national custodian of standards and quality of education in basic education, there are concerns on whether instructional supervision of teachers by Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASOs) has improved their instructional capacity to offer quality education. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of instructional supervision by QASOs on provision of quality of education in Nairobi and Machakos Counties. The objectives of the study were: to seek the perceptions of teachers on the instructional supervisory competences of QASOs; to assess the instructional supervisory practices exercised by QASOs in schools; to examine the influences of QASOs instructional supervisory practices on the instructional competences of teachers; and to assess the utilization of the QASOs’ recommendations and reports in public secondary schools. The Collegial theory was selected to guide this study. The study adopted ex post facto survey design and employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Target population of this study was 1481(N) persons (365 school principal teachers, 17 SC-QASOs, 2 C-QASOs, 2 N-QASOs and 1095 HOD teachers; from which a sample of 460 (n-31%) respondents comprising of teachers (110 Principal teachers& 329 HOD teachers) and 21 QASOs were drawn. Purposive sampling was used to select the two counties where the study was conducted while stratified and simple random sampling was used to select the schools where the study was conducted. Respondents for the study were selected purposively because of their relevancy to the study. Data were collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. Content validity of the instruments was determined by seeking expert judgment from specialist in educational management. Reliability of the research instruments was ascertained through Cronbach technique. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically and presented via narration and verbatim while quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages and means and presented using figures, tables and charts. The major finding of this study was that effectiveness of QASOs in teachers’ instructional supervision was found to be inadequate. Specifically, the study established that teachers perceived QASOs as having partial technical and conceptual competences; they don’t do sufficient preparations for conducting instructional supervision in schools and spend most of the time for instructional supervision checking teachers’ professional records; they are unable to adequately enhance teachers’ pedagogy and instructional material utilization competences; and have not spearheaded optimal utilization of their instructional supervision recommendations and reports to enhance provision of quality education. The study recommends that: QASOs should be taken through intensive training in technical subject areas related to their areas of specialization; instructional supervision of schools should always be based on previous recommendations and reports; and QASOs instructional supervision findings should always inform agenda for QASOs’ organized teachers’ seminars and workshops.