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versão On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versão impressa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.76 no.4 Pretoria  2011


Education of quality to the poor


Gehalte-onderwys aan die armes



H.M. van der Merwe

Department of Further Teacher Education, University of South Africa, Pretoria. E-mail:




Quality education often eludes South African learners from poverty-stricken environments. There are, however, some notable exceptions. This article looks at how quality education based on social capital is provided to the poor. The author reports on a qualitative investigation based on both focus group and individual interviews conducted at a resource-poor KwaZulu-Natal school serving learners from Grade R to 9. The findings show that quality education at the research site relates to the moral agency of the school principal and teaching staff. Through their ethics of being and doing, the school principal and teaching staff ensure that sufficient resources, sound home-school relations, and a high premium on moral values result in a receptive learner corps. This environment encourages these learners to act with diligence, honesty, politeness, respect and service to the community. The findings contribute to research that maintains that quality education is indicative of the school principal and teachers' ethics of being and of doing.

Key concepts:education provisioning to the poor, moral agency, quality education, social capital


Gehalte-onderwys is nie vrylik beskikbaar aan leerders uit arm omgewings nie. Daar is egter merkwaardige uitsonderings. Hierdie artikel ondersoek hoe gehalte-onderwys wat op sosiale kapitaal gegrond is aan arm leerders voorsien word. Die outeur doen verslag oor 'n kwalitatiewe ondersoek gebaseer op individuele en fokusgroeponderhoude wat gevoer is by 'n arm KwaZulu-Natalse skool vir leerders van graad R tot 9. Bevindings dui daarop dat gehalte-onderwys by hierdie navorsingsterrein verband hou met die morele bemiddeling van die skoolhoof en onderwysers. Deur middel van hulle etiek van wees en doen, verseker die skoolhoof en onderwysers dat voldoende hulpmiddels, gesonde verhoudings tussen die huis en skool, asook 'n hoë premie op morele waardes 'n ontvanklike leerderkorps tot gevolg het. Hierdie milieu bemagtig leerders met ywer, eerlikheid, hoflikheid, respek en bereidheid tot gemeenskapsdiens. Die bevindings dra by tot navorsing wat toon dat gehalte-onderwys 'n aanduiding is van die skoolhoof en onderwysers se etiek van wees en doen.

Kernbegrippe:gehalte-onderwys, morele bemiddeling, onderwysvoorsiening aan die armes, sosiale kapitaal



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