Self Evaluation: A Case Study of a School in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Carolyne Adhiambo Kokeyo, John Oluoch


External evaluation of schools purpose to monitor delivery of education with a view to ensuring adherence to stipulated curriculum and set standards as well as efficient and effective quality education. However, school improvement scholars in developed economies now argue that schools must take their own initiative to assess the extent to which the expectations of their stakeholders’ are met. The argument is that by systematically gathering and analysing information about itself so as make value judgement, a school is likely to improve. In a country like Tanzania for instance, most schools have not embraced self-evaluation since they depend on external school inspection conducted by the inspectorate, which only targets 50% of total school population. As it is with other developing economies, minimal inspection is blamed on inadequate resources. Implying that most schools remain unsupervised following this target. A review of relevant literature shows that despite the problem as aforementioned, the studies known to me in Tanzania, the East Africa region or indeed Africa have not explicitly empirically explored the actual self-evaluation practices with a view to ascertaining the current needs, the challenges that schools face and the possible remedies. It is this knowledge gap that the proposed study sought to contribute to. This study was informed by relativist-interpretivist paradigm which is consistent with the qualitative approach and case study method. Twelve research participants who included the school leaders: the principal, the deputy principal, four HoDs, as well as six teachers all selected purposively. This study used semi- structured interviews, observations, focus group discussions together with document analysis to generate data, which were analysed thematically. All relevant ethical issues were considered. The contention in this study is that schools that evaluate themselves are in the need to show off what they offer rather than shiver in fear of people finding out their areas of weaknesses. The study not only provided a basis upon which the practices of self-evaluation could be based but has also added significant contributions to knowledge in school improvement scholarship.

Keywords: School Self-evaluation; School Improvement; Classroom Observation; Clinical Supervision.

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