Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 2(7), pp. 1281-1298  July 2011         
Copyright © 2011 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper


Quality education in secondary schools: challenges and opportunities for quality assurance and standards in Kenya: A case study of Kakamega central district

Joan Betty Watsulu and Enose M.W. Simatwa*

Department of Educational Management and Foundations, Maseno University

*Corresponding Author E-mail:

Received 14 June, 2011; Accepted 05 July, 2011


The Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards is charged with the responsibility of improving and maintaining the quality of education in Kakamega Central District. However, since 2003 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination analysis in Kakamega Central District has continued to indicate that the quality of education is low with most schools showing stagnant or downward trends. The purpose of this study was to investigate the opportunities and challenges for the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards in its endeavor to ensure quality education in secondary school education in Kakamega Central District.  This study was based on a conceptual framework showing opportunities and challenges for the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards in the enhancement of quality education in secondary education.  This study used descriptive survey design.  The study population consisted of one District Quality Assurance and Standards Officer, 33 Head teachers and 330 Heads of departments. Face validity of the instruments was ascertained by experts in the Department of Educational Management and Foundations at Maseno University. Reliability of the instruments was established through piloting in three schools that were not part of the study sample. Quantitative data obtained from closed ended questionnaire items was analyzed using descriptive statistics in the form of percentages and frequency counts. Qualitative data obtained from open ended questions in the questionnaires, in-depth interviews and document analysis guide was analyzed on an ongoing process as themes and sub themes emerged.  The study established that only 12 (40%) schools were assessed between 2005 and 2009. The Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards had many opportunities such as financial records and observation of teachers in class to enhance quality education. The challenges faced in enhancing quality education included lack of co-operation from some teachers and incidents of unavailability of finance records. The study concluded that schools were not assessed as many times as required although the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards had many opportunities. Many challenges were faced in the process of assessing schools and the coping strategies included adherence to professional ethics. The study recommended that schools should be assessed at least once in every three years. The findings of this study will be useful to education policy makers, planners, Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards, and school administrators in promoting the quality of education.


Keywords: Quality education, secondary schools, challenges, opportunities, strategies Kakamega Central District, Kenya.

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