Quality assurance and accountability

Liz Slater

This review focuses on quality assurance, monitoring and evaluation, and the use of these methods to drive educational improvement and accountability; addressing structures, responsibilities, processes, tools and models of evaluation.

Monitoring, evaluation and quality assurance in their various forms are seen as being one of the foundation stones of high-quality education systems. According to Akkari, for instance, the Tunisian Ministry of Education believed one of reasons for the 'mediocrity of the internal efficiency of the education system' was the lack of a 'culture of evaluation'. Similarly, De Grauwe, writing about 'school supervision' in four African countries in 2001, linked the decline in the quality of basic education to the cut in resources for supervision and support.
Countries and states monitor and evaluate not only to drive educational improvement but also for accountability. There are difficulties with putting monitoring and evaluation into practice, and some opposition to it. However, there seems to be a general recognition that evaluation is part of the process of education and that accountability is a normal and necessary part of the supply of public services.