Quality of education


The general concept of educational quality is composed of three interrelated dimensions: the quality of human and material resources available for teaching (inputs), the quality of teaching practices (process) and quality of the results (outputs and outcomes). Furthermore, any analysis of the quality of education should include the question: quality for whom? Should the efforts concentrate on students from underprivileged groups, the most able, or all students of the system? (Grisay and Mahlck, 1991).

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The demand for high-quality education, which can translate into higher costs per student, must be balanced against other demands on public expenditure and the overall tax burden. Policy makers must also balance the importance of improving the quality of education services with the desirability of expanding access to education opportunities, notably at the tertiary level (OECD, 2013: 162)., UNESCO promotes access to good-quality education as a human right and supports a rights-based approach to all educational activities (Pigozzi, 2004). Within this approach, learning is perceived to be affected at two levels. At the level of the learner, education needs to seek out and acknowledge learners’ prior knowledge, to recognize formal and informal modes, to practise non-discrimination and to provide a safe and supportive learning environment. At the level of the learning system, a support structure is needed to implement policies, enact legislation, distribute resources and measure learning outcomes, so as to have the best possible impact on learning for all (UNESCO, 2005: 30).