n South African Journal of Higher Education - School principalship and the value of African indigenous knowledge (AIK) : ships passing in the night? : perspectives on higher education

Volume 18, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Principals, especially in the rural areas of South Africa, ignore African indigenous knowledge (AIK) and the two appear to be like proverbial ships passing in the night. Principals are aware of the value of AIK, yet do not use it. Principalship involves leadership; organisational, human resource and financial management; planning; evaluation; team-building; problem solving; and decision making. Today, principals need to be more than organisational executives, humanistic facilitators and instructional leaders; they are called to be 'gatekeepers' to ensure the successful functioning of the school. The quality of principalship is crucial to the long-term success of the school. Quality, trustworthy relationships that foster organisational commitment, community collaboration, and that regenerate moral values are essential elements of successful schools. Current principalship requires a creative, dynamic and collaborative approach that will enhance trust and organisational commitment to enable schools to re-form and transform, thereby sustaining positive growth and learner outcomes. This article examines the leadership of school principalship in fostering and facilitating trust and organisational commitment among the teaching staff, the learners and the parent community. The study indicates that there is an urgent and growing need for research on education leadership from our own African cultural heritage and perspective. Some recommendations are made while it is reiterated that principals need ongoing in-service training and know-how to improve practice.

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