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  • Jonathan Louw

Education systems must borrow from ISO standards

WINDHOEK, 16 MAR – There is a need to translate the concept of quality assurance management from the industrial manufacturing processes to the education sector to ensure sustainable quality service delivery.

This was said by Chief Principal for Quality Assurance and Qualifications Framework at the Inter University Council of East Africa in Uganda, Cosam Joseph during a public lecture in the capital organised by the National Council for Higher Education on Thursday.

“We need to identify what the issues are that we can borrow from the industrial processes which can be translated in the education sector,” Joseph said.

He explained that this issue has raised a lot of debate, particularly on how to borrow the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 into the classroom situation, saying some of the ISO requirements can be borrowed into the management processes of education.

According to the website of the American Society for Quality, ISO 9000 is a set of international standards on quality management and quality assurance developed to help companies effectively document the quality system elements to be implemented to maintain an efficient quality system.

This, he said, will enable organisations in the education sector to assess how best it is, its performance, marketing its products and how it is sharing information with its stakeholders.

Joseph further noted that the concept of ISO is used in Kenya, where universities there are ISO-certified as a requirement by that country’s government.

Joseph added that Government wants to see its universities meet certain minimum thresholds in accordance with ISO in order for them to operate because this is where the value of taxpayers’ money can be justified.

“As a university, you are given money and how are you making use of that money to meet the expectation of the stakeholders and the agendas of the government and the region?” he asked.

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