Factors influencing quality assurance in public secondary schools in Kenya: a case of public secondary schools in Meru South District
Njoka, Annritah Kanini
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Quality education is a worldwide phenomenon but it's particularly important in the developing world. A number of factors have contributed to this development: government and industry have advocated that a well educated workforce is essential to increased productivity and to maintaining a competitive edge in the global knowledge economy, resulting in an increase in public funding for education and a drive to make education more accessible. This has brought about calls for greater accountability on the part of educational providers and the measuring of outputs through quality assurance process. Much research has been conducted on the experiences of organizations in other sectors in regard to quality assurance leaving out the public sector; the little done in education is in higher education. Since the split of Meru south district and the introduction of subsidized secondary education, the desired quality results are yet to be achieved. This study seeks to fill the existing gap by establishing the factors influencing quality assurance in public secondary schools in Kenya with particular reference to Meru-South district. Specifically the research focused on determining whether continuous improvement, benchmarking, stakeholder support and human capacity of all influenced quality assurance in Meru South District. The results of the study will be useful to top management in secondary schools and education policy makers in terms of formulating the appropriate policies and actions that will facilitate easier adoption of the standards. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The target population was all the principals, heads of department and District Quality Assurance Officer in Meru South District. Stratified random and purposive sampling techniques were used to select the subjects of the study. A sample size of 25% of the target population which translates to 89 subjects was taken for the study. Questionnaires were used as the data collection instruments. The data obtained were analyzed using SPSS and the results presented in form of graphs, tables and charts. The study established that continuous improvement and benchmarking positively influenced quality assurance. It found out that delay in fees payment by stakeholders hindered quality education. The competence level of staff on quality assurance was low and there was an average of 32% of the teaching staff that was not trained. The study recommended that quality assurance be incorporated in education courses to improve the competence levels of teachers on quality assurance. It also recommended prompt fees payment by stakeholders and employment of qualified teachers by the ministry of education to enhance quality education.