Constraints facing quality assurance and standards officers in supporting curriculum implementation in public secondary schools in Nyandarua county-Kenya
Gichuhi, Mureithi Samuel
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Inspection has been a mechanism particularly associated with schools. Traditionally, it has been used to monitor the quality of teaching as well as general aspects of schools. In Kenya, education reforms often fail to achieve desired outcomes due to ineffective and inefficient supervision. As a result, the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Education came up with the Department of Quality Assurance and Standards charged with the duty of maintaining and improving educational standards in the country. Despite the institution of the department, the performance of schools in the national examinations is still low. The purpose of this study was to establish the constraints facing QASOs in supporting curriculum implementation in pubic secondary schools in Nyandarua County. The study was guided by the following specific objectives: to investigate the work related challenges facing QASOs, to determine the school related factors affecting the role of QASOs, to find out policy related factors facing QASOs operating in Nyandarua County and to establish the ways of mitigating the constraints facing QASOs. Descriptive survey design was used for the study. The study was carried out in the seven districts in Nyandarua County. The target population for the study was QASOs and DEOs in each of the districts under the area of study. A total of 24 respondents were targeted by the study; these constituted 17 QASOs and 7 DEOs out of which 21 responded (constituting 15 QASOs and 6 DEOs) giving a response rate of 87.5%. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used as instruments for data collection. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were used to describe the data. The study found that inadequacy of staff and resources were the work related challenges facing QASOs as indicated by 87% and 75% of the respondents respectively. The study found that teachers attitude, teachers cooperation, ineffective curriculum supervision by head teachers, lack of teachers commitment, inadequate facilities and resources, failure by the teachers to wholly implement all the recommendations made by QASOs affected support by QASOs in curriculum implementation. The study also found that factors such as: inadequate fund allocation to support their activities, inadequate staff to carry out the duties of QASOs, limited training for QASOs to improve their skills in service delivery, reliance on DEOs in terms of facilitation, inadequate capacity building for QASOs and lack of access to policy documents affected QASOs in supporting curriculum implementation in schools. The study concluded that: inadequacy of staff and resources, teachers' attitude, inadequate fund allocation for QASOs and limited capacity building affected the QASOs support to curriculum implementation in schools. The study recommended that the government through the Ministry of Education should increase the number of QASOs serving in the districts and make the required resources available to facilitate their role in ensuring effective curriculum implementation in schools. The study finally recommended that another study be done on the effectiveness of QASOs in ensuring effective curriculum implementation in public secondary schools in other Counties.