Accountability matters

Nazarbayev Intellectual School International Research-to-Practice Conference created academic environment where presenters and participants could exchange ideas on various education topics. One of the most inspiring sessions for me was UNESCO Report presented by Katarzyna Kubacka. Presenter devoted considerable attention to the notion of accountability. Before attending this seminar I did not have a clear view of this notion. Katarzyna highlighted in her speech that accountability can be used to solve different problems in education. Government, teachers, parents, students, international organizations and private sector all can influence and change education system. All of them can effectively work together and all of them have a role to play. Since accountability is mostly linked to the individual institutions, each of the above mentioned stakeholders is accountable for a particular area in education. Stakeholders can fix problems within one specific field; however they cannot be accountable for things that are beyond their control.

Katarzyna Kubacka outlined that sometimes key stakeholders try to avoid accountability. For instance, it happens when government transfer accountability for education failures on teachers. Thus, it often happens that teachers are solely blamed for students’ poor learning outcomes. I think, that in some cases teachers are asked to be accountable for things that they cannot fully control. As O’Neill (2013) pointed out in his article “Intelligent accountability in education” authorities often make teachers accountable for “bogus units of measurement” in students’ assessment (p. 14). Author also highlighted that it is meaningless to require teachers for reporting back on all kind of assessment, because not everything in education system can be measured. Accountability first of all should be aimed at achieving a quality equitable education for all. Moreover it should stimulate the progress of education. Since accountability cannot be shared, every stakeholder can be accountable only for a particular part of the common work. At the same time they should work in collaboration to improve functioning of education system.


Photo credit to

O’Neill, O. (2013). Intelligent accountability in education. Oxford Review of Education, 39(1), 4–16.

2 thoughts on “Accountability matters

  1. Dear @alinatatiyeva! Thank you for your interesting and insightful blog post. Indeed, the issue of accountability is one of the crucial in education. How perfect everything would be if each stakeholder was accountable for things that they can do, control and contribute. The example that you explain in your post about the teachers clearly illustrates one of the main problems in our education systems. Where top-down approach disregards the responsibilities on different levels of implementation holding teachers as the ultimate agents of change.


  2. Strong, post, well supported ideas. Double check for comma usage after introductory phrases (moreover, at the same time, etc.) (5/5)


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