When school inspection doesn't deliver

Just how effective is the system established for school inspections in safeguarding quality of instruction in Tanzania? A Performance Audit of the Secondary School Inspectorate by Tanzania's CAG conducted in 2008 answers this question. It shows that the inspectorate programme for Secondary schools in Tanzania performs poorly in the following areas:

  • it fails during school inspections to prioritize issues concerning poor performance of students.
  • it does not guarantee effective communication, implementation and follow up on recommendations; and
  • it fails to monitor how effective school inspections are.

The audit shows further that the inspectorate programme lacks resources to ensure that inspections are appropriately organized and undertaken according to plans. As a consequence it is unable to guarantee improvement in the quality of instruction. This fact is substantiated by persistent failures of students in mathematics and other science subjects despite the fact that school inspections are undertaken every year.

In a brief titled  'When school inspection doesn't deliver' Uwazi highlights the findings of the CAG's Audit of the Inspection Programme for Secondary Schools in Tanzania. It shows that the inspection exercises need to be made more effective, and the inspectorate department in the MOEVT strengthened. This can be achieved by prioritizing students performance in the inspection cycle; by furnishing the inspectorate programme/department with the necessary resources (staffing and equipment) to carry out inspections; by communicating more effectively and widely inspection findings and by opening them to public scrutiny; and by monitoring and evaluating, from time to time, effectiveness of inspections that the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training undertakes.

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