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Data use in Kenyan secondary schools

Elisha Omoso (Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Media, Rongo University, Rongo, Kenya)
Kim Schildkamp (University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)
Jules Pieters (University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 3 June 2019

Issue publication date: 26 June 2019




The purpose of this paper is to explore the data available and their use by Kenyan secondary school teachers and head teachers.


Using a qualitative case study design, this study utilised interviews and documentary evidence to explore the data available and their use within Kenyan schools.


The data available in Kenyan schools were similar except for context data which had slight variations between schools. Head teachers mainly used school-level data to monitor school functioning, plan and develop school-level policies which mainly focused on school and curriculum improvement but little on teacher improvement. Teacher improvement attempts were mostly via benchmarking. The results also show that Kenyan head teachers hide inspection reports from teachers and that some head teachers used data creatively than others. For example, one head teacher used data to start a feeding programme to support economically disadvantaged students. Teachers, however, mostly used classroom-level data to plan lessons and monitor students’ progress.

Research limitations/implications

The study results may be used for data use comparative studies between developing and developed countries.

Practical implications

Based on the findings, data use training is needed to help Kenyan schools use data to improve teachers and teaching.


Accountability and data use are at the centre of many school improvement efforts the world over. The last two decades, for example, show pressure on schools to account for the resources invested and for the education they provide to children mainly in the form of data. Regrettably, studies pay little attention to data use in schools within developing countries such as Kenya.



Omoso, E., Schildkamp, K. and Pieters, J. (2019), "Data use in Kenyan secondary schools", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 216-231.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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