External supervision of schools: an examination of its Impact on quality of education in secondary schools in Kajiado North sub-county, Kenya
Mwangi, Bonface Njuguna
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This study purposely sought to examine the impact of schools external supervision by Quality Assurance and Standards Officers (QASOs) on key parameters that determine provision of quality education namely, teaching and learning practices, adequacy and provision of educational facilities, human resource and financial management. The study targeted all secondary schools in Kajiado North Sub County, Kajiado County, Kenya. The study was anchored on three theories: classical scientific management, human relations, and Total Quality Management (TQM). A concurrent mixed methods approach with a trans-formative/validating triangulation design was employed. Probability and non-probability sampling procedures were used. Sampling yielded 14 schools and 158 participants comprising 14 principals, 56 teachers, 56 parents, 14 support staff, 4 QASO and 14 PTA chair persons. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview schedules, educational facilities observation guide and lesson observation guide. Pilot testing was carried out to determine the validity, reliability, credibility and dependability of research instruments. In addition professional experts ensured content and construct validity of research instruments. All categories of respondents’ questionnaires had Cronbach’s alpha reliability index of 0.6 and above. Descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, bar graphs and line graphs were used while inferential statistics such as t test and Anova were used to analyze the data. Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS) version 21 was used to analyse quantitative data. Interviews were voice recorded, transcribed and imported to NVivo (version 10) which generated broad themes for analysis. The study found that the change of supervisory approach since year 2003 has induced congenial atmosphere enabling teachers to reap benefits from QASOs advisory and professional development school visits. However, teachers and principals were found to regard QASOs school visits as perfunctory resulting to serious laxity in teaching and learning practices. Though QASOs made occasional school visits, inadequacy, lack of maintenance and neglect of educational facilities were rampant. In most schools, drinking water was salty and unsafe for human consumption while sanitary facilities were appalling and gender insensitive. There was a statistical significant difference in mean views of principals, teachers, parents and support staff in regard to teaching and physical facilities management in their schools as determined by one-way ANOVA (F(3,106) = 16.14, p˂0.05 ). Failure to employ varied methods of data collection has made QASOs miss crucial information during their school visits and which could have enabled them make a positive impact in areas that determine provision of quality education. The study recommends a paradigm shift in QASOs supervision approach where surprise school visits can be made in addition to prearranged ones. QASOs should make use of questionnaires and formal interviews of various school stakeholders in addition to observation in data collection.
- School of Education