n South African Journal of Education - Bureaucratic accountability in the Education Action Zones of South Africa

Volume 26, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



The Education Action Zone program me in Gauteng province, South Africa, has been widely seen as a very successful school improvement initiative, with particular significance as it represents a unique model of top-down, bureaucratic accountability as a vehicle for turning-around dysfunctional secondary schools. In this article I evaluate the impact of the initiative through an analysis of the senior secondary examination results for 1999 -20 02, in the 70 schools involved in the programme. It was found that the EAZ schools made significant gains in the overall pass rate, university pass rates, number of 'A' symbols, and average mark. The results of comparative analysis confirmed the overall success of the programme. However an alternative explanation raised questions about the mechanisms of improvement by uncovering a relationship between gains in examination results and learner exclusion.

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