Accountability for Curriculum Implementation in Ethiopian Primary Schools: Compact Relationship in Focus
The study aims to investigate the compact or bureaucratic accountability relationship for
curriculum implementation in primary schools. To achieve this objective, an exploratory
case study type and a multiple case study (holistic) research design were employed. A
purposeful sampling technique was used to select sites and respondents. Data were
collected from both primary and secondary sources using face-to-face structured interviews
and document analysis. Primary sources of data were three district or Worda Education
Offices (WEOs) and three primary schools, from which three school principals, six
teachers, and three WEOs’ curriculum and instructional experts were selected. The data
were analyzed qualitatively using a thematic approach. The study reveals that the compact
accountability relationship between the WEOs’ curriculum and instructional experts and
the curriculum implementers was collapsed by key determinants such as weak capacity,
poor monitoring progress, and politicization of the WEOs’ curriculum and instructional
experts’ roles and responsibilities. This study also affirms that the accountability
relationship was purposefully operational for easily achievable actions and politically
attractive roles such as the improvement of students’ test scores by 10%, enhancing
students’ enrollment, reducing students’ dropout rates, etc. that resulted in little
implementation of curriculum components into classroom practices in a decentralized
education system of primary schools.
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