Quality assurance: a pressing problem for education in the 21st century

Khaled Almadani, Norman Reid, Susan Rodrigues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quality assurance in secondary schools (ages about 12-18) and in higher education has been a growth industry for many years, with all kinds of agencies being funded. With apparently endless growth in education at all levels, with insistent demands on more resources, the political pressures in ensuring value for money have increased. This study looks at what is meant by quality assurance, challenges some of the current procedures and points to some better ways forward for the 21st century. Specifically, it argues that quality assurance must focus on the key goals for education at each stage with the learner always at the focus of all procedures to assess quality. Finally, the study illustrates this approach by considering what 793 secondary students thought of their experiences at the point when they were almost completing their education journey in secondary schools in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The research aim is to show how focussing on the actual learners can identify key issues that need addressed to enrich education provision. These issues include the emphasising understanding and not memorisation, the need for more groupwork and dialogue, restoring the visual-spatial aspects of learning, re-thinking curriculum balance, and re-examining national examination systems. The most fundamental question of all is whether quality assurance has improved quality - a key issue for the 21st century?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
JournalProblems of Education in the 21st Century
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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