Quality Assurance as the Demand for Accountability in Primary Schools in Nigeria

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Quality Assurance and the demand for Accountability
in Primary Education in Nigeria

By

Isaac J. Kukwi Ph.D
and
Amos Iliya

Being a Paper for the 1st National Conference of Faculty of Education, Nasarawa State University, Keffi - Nigeria from 11th – 14th June, 2012.

Faculty of Education,
Nasarawa State University, Keffi – Nigeria.

Abstract
This paper examines quality assurance and accountability in primary education in Nigeria. Strategies for establishing quality assurance in primary education are discussed to include effective supervision and inspection of primary teachers, provision of facilities and increased budgetary allocation for primary education among others. Some legal issues relating to quality assurance, evaluation and accountability in primary education are examined. Finally, conclusion was drawn and a major recommendation of improving performance in teachers’ pedagogy in various subjects through capacity building programme, organization of workshops, seminars, conferences, part-time courses and distance learning programmes among others was provided. Introduction

Quality assurance is a necessary tool for national development and bedrock of every society. It is through education that cultural heritages are transferred from generation to generation (Onyeachu, 2006). Therefore, there is every need to ensure quality education in all levels of education especially in the primary level because it is the foundation level. Section 3.1 of the national Policy on Education (2004:9) viewed primary education as “the education in an institution for children aged 6 to 11+ years old”. The policy also describes primary education as the determinant of the success or failure of the whole educational system because all other levels are built upon primary level of education. Therefore, there is every need to maintain quality in primary education in Nigeria.

Quality connotes the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it, while assurance literally means ‘certainty’. Therefore, quality assurance is the process of ensuring that good standard is maintained. Quality assurance consists of a variety of processes. The starting point is defining quality, which implies spelling out what is considered as ‘quality’ derived from what is most valued and important in education. Monitoring and supervision among others are strategies for establishing quality assurance in primary education as well as demanding for accountability from teachers.

Adepoju (1999) viewed accountability as an educational concept to relate mainly to a concern for furthering the educational effectiveness of school systems. Two perennial themes occupied accountability in recent time, on the one hand, it signifies a quest for efficiency, where efficiency implies a demand that public money not be wasted through fraudulence or incompetence. On the other hand, accountability implies an extension of the democratic quest for equality of educational opportunity. Therefore, the process of ensuring quality assurance seeks for accountability from the teacher on the resources and even pupils performance. Concept of Quality and Quality Assurance

The term ‘quality’ has been at the core of the motivating forces for reforms in education. Quality has been variously defined by many Scholars. Hornby (2000:953) defines quality as “the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it, how good or bad something is”. Fadokun (2005) characterised quality by three interrelated and interdependent strands; efficiency (eg better use of resources); relevance (eg to meeting human and environmental conditions) and ‘something more’ (eg to journey a little further than mere efficiency and relevance). Ijaiya (2001:297) views quality as “something everyone considers good and wants to have”. Simply put, quality could be described...
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