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South African Journal of Childhood Education

On-line version ISSN 2223-7682
Print version ISSN 2223-7674


BIPATH, Keshni  and  NKABINDE, Mfulathelwa M.B.. The motivational roles of heads of department in learners' performance and quality of schooling in South Africa. SAJCE [online]. 2018, vol.8, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2223-7682.

BACKGROUND: The Global Competitiveness report shows that the quality of primary education in South Africa ranks 132 out of 144 countries. Statistics released by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa reveal that the average mark for Grade 3 learners in the Annual National Assessment (ANA) was 35% for literacy and 28% for numeracy AIM: We seek in this article to share the voices of the Foundation Phase heads of departments (HoDs) regarding their motivational roles and responsibilities in learner performance. We also aim to understand their role in tandem with other contributors, as well as all stakeholders in the Department of Basic Education who are responsible for teacher development and curriculum delivery SETTING: Ehlanzeni, Bohlabela, Gert Sibande and Nkangala in Mpumalanga METHODS: A quantitative research approach was used, where questionnaires were distributed to 274 Foundation Phase HoDs in all four districts in Mpumalanga RESULTS: The findings indicate that HoDs have a moderate perception of their responsibility in motivating learners; moreover, they do not recognise the role of parents as motivators of learners. They seem too busy teaching in their classrooms and lack the time and skill of supervising their subordinates and involving parents in the education tripod. The legislative framework (PAM document), it can be argued, does not allow sufficient time for HoDs to efficiently perform their tasks CONCLUSION: Retraining of HoDs to work collaboratively with teachers and parents will enhance the quality of schooling offered in South Africa

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