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Elusive search for quality education: The case of quality assurance and teacher accountability

George Odhiambo (Faculty of Education & Social Work, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 20 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to examine issues of quality and quality assurance in Kenyan schools, identify reasons why Kenya government has difficulties in achieving its well documented search for quality education and to trace the process for ensuring the accountability of teachers in Kenya. This focus is done under conditions of significant changes in government policies and educational restructuring.


The reflections are done through a review of variety of research and analytical sources.


The review shows that the government, whose approach has been ambivalent and paradoxical, has determined teacher accountability and that the underlying cause of poor quality education in Kenya's schools is not the performance of teachers per se but deeply rooted management practices and other government policies which will have to change if this dream is to be realized. The evaluation of teachers' work should not be separated from development since quality is dependent on professional development. There is no development without challenge and quality development depends on the participation of all persons involved in teaching and learning.

Practical implications

The most obvious practical implication of this paper is that education in Kenya needs complete overhaul and not piecemeal reforms. Above all, there is need to invest regularly in the development of teachers, as teachers need access to continuous and effective updating and updating systems.


This paper provides an opportunity for reflection and builds a foundation on some of the key challenges that face education and teachers in Kenya. The paper suggests directions for leading Kenyan schools into a successful future.



Odhiambo, G. (2008), "Elusive search for quality education: The case of quality assurance and teacher accountability", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 417-431.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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