South African Journal of Education - Volume 34, Issue 2, 2014
Volume 34, Issue 2, 2014
Author C.C. WolhuterSource: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –25 (2014)More Less
The aim of this article is to present a systematic, holistic evaluation of the South African education system, using international benchmarks as the yardstick. A theoretical model for the evaluation of a national education project is constructed. This consists of three dimensions, namely: a quantitative dimension, a qualitative dimension, and an equality dimension. International databases and the existing international taxonomies of national education systems are then used to evaluate the South African education system, along the three dimensions of the model. It is found that the weakest links are the facts that primary and secondary education enrolment ratios are not followed through to the higher education level; that input, particularly financial input, does not render a commensurate return in terms of the quality of teaching and learning, and learning outcomes; that the administrative component of the system and teacher input appear to be the two weak links in the system in this regard; and that stark inequalities exist in the education system. In conclusion, some recommendations for the improvement of practice and for further research are made.
Technical efficiency and primary education in South Africa : evidence from sub-national level analysesAuthor Nana Adowaa BoatengSource: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –18 (2014)More Less
The paper examines the extent to which sub-national public officials are efficient in delivering basic education services and argues that technical inefficiencies, especially in the management of public funds for education, could potentially contribute to poor education service delivery in South Africa. A conceptual framework is proposed to show the underlying mechanisms by which these technical inefficiencies can adversely affect education outcomes. The analysis is based on two micro-level surveys that were applied at 175 public primary schools and 13 district education offices (DEOs) in two provinces in South Africa: the North-West Province and Gauteng. The analysis reveals that South Africa has a well-planned decentralised structure to administer education. However, districts have significant human resource constraints. Capacity is often lacking and record-keeping, particularly of financial information, is very poor. Lack of technical efficiency has resulted in misappropriation of funds (leakage) and extensive delays in remitting funds to schools. The paper concludes that these inefficiencies potentially affect education outcomes and therefore should be given due consideration when designing and implementing education policy reforms.
Source: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –14 (2014)More Less
In South Africa, up to 70% of children of school-going age with disabilities are out of school. Of those who do attend, most are still in separate, "special" schools for learners with disabilities. This situation prevails despite the push for the educational inclusion of learners with disabilities over twelve years ago by the South African policy document, the Education White Paper 6. In this article, we take a primarily top-down theoretical approach to policy implementation and focus on two main factors that hinder the implementation of inclusive education. Firstly, we focus on what we regard as the most significant constraint, namely, the apparent lack of clarity in the policy, i.e. ambiguity about the goals for inclusion and the means through which they can be achieved and, secondly, various issues around the poor implementation of the policy. We argue further that the primary means by which the divide between inclusive policy and practice will ultimately be closed is through the implementation and enforcement of education policy by the South African Department of Education.
Source: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –17 (2014)More Less
Global and national concerns that corporal punishment is still being used, openly in certain milieus and surreptitiously in others, suggests that education stakeholders need to take cognisance of teachers' perceptions and experiences that influence their classroom discipline in the context of changing curriculum policies and legislation. This study was guided by research objectives that explored, firstly, teachers perceptions of their past experiences of corporal punishment and, secondly, their perceptions of their disciplinary techniques since the abolition of corporal punishment. Through a qualitative research methodology of semi-structured interviews, data were collected from seven primary school teachers in KwaZulu-Natal. Teachers' perceptions of their experiences and practices of corporal punishment were explored through two dimensions of the Foucauldian concept of bio-power, namely, disciplinary power and governmentality. The findings show that although all teachers experienced corporal punishment negatively when they were pupils, their responses to the abolition of corporal punishment were varied, multiple and complex. Recommendations for further research include exploring the resilience of authoritarian teaching approaches and teacher professional development of learner-centred approaches to curb teacher frustration that contributes to their use of corporal punishment.
The balancing act between the constitutional right to strike and the constitutional right to educationAuthor H.J. (Jaco) DeaconSource: South African Journal of Education 34, pp 1 –15 (2014)More Less
While the South African Constitution enshrines both children's right to a basic education and teachers' right to strike, conflict between these two often occurs when the way in which teachers' unions conduct strike actions detracts from learners' education. This article identifies the parties affected by industrial action in the school context, and then proceeds to examine educators' right to strike as defined by the provisions of the Labour Relations Act. The unique implications of picketing in the education environment are then discussed, covering relevant questions such as where pickets may be held, the issue of picketing rules as well as unprotected pickets. Even though we are faced with a qualified right to strike as opposed to an unqualified right to education, the South African reality seems to be that striking teachers are handled with kid gloves. It is therefore concluded that the vast range of existing laws regulating protest action should be applied more effectively. One of the most important aspects should be the picketing rules, which should clearly determine whether picketing in fact contributes to resolution of the dispute, and how learners' interests and rights may best be actualised.