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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

XABA, Mgadla Isaac. The possible cause of school governance challenges in South Africa. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2011, vol.31, n.2, pp. 201-211. ISSN 0256-0100.

School governance in South Africa is about the single most important factor in education that appears to experience apparently insurmountable challenges. In this article I explore and analyse school governance challenges to find their possible cause. A qualitative study using interviews was conducted with principals, educators and parents as school governing body members. The results of the empirical investigation reveal numerous challenges in school governance, which challenges seem to be mainly related to school governors' ability or inability to execute functions prescribed by the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 (hereafter referred to as the Schools Act). An analysis of the challenges strongly indicates that these challenges are possibly caused by the nature of the prescribed functions, which require specialised skills and knowledge to execute. This is manifested in the various reasons advanced by school governors, such as the apportionment of blame among themselves. It is therefore concluded that school governing bodies are not really succeeding in facing the challenges of their roles and responsibilities and that the possible cause for these challenges resides in the specialist nature of most prescribed functions themselves.

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