n South African Journal of Higher Education - The unheard voices of educators : perceptions of educators about the state of education in South Africa

Volume 24, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The article examined the perceptions of educators regarding their concerns and fears about the current state of education in South Africa. The target population for the study comprised of all the educators enrolled for the B.Ed. (Hons.) programme in Educational Management at the Central University of Technology, Free State in 2008. This group of post-graduate students comprised of educators who teach in schools in and around Bloemfontein. A questionnaire comprising of both closed and open-ended questions was used to collect data from all the students in the B.Ed. (Hons.) programme. A quantitative analysis of the results indicated that the majority of educators were uncertain about their own future as well as the future of education in South Africa. Some of their fears and concerns included the political and economic climate in the country, changes in policies and the curriculum, high rates of teacher attrition, unsafe school environments, unsatisfactory working conditions, declining quality of education, role conflict, poor teacher morale, unprofessional conduct of educators, lack of co-ordinated Outcomes Based Education (OBE) workshops, poor management and leadership in schools and a lack of accountability. The following were suggested as strategies that could be used in order to turn the situation around: management training for principals, effective professional development of educators, proper consultation and involvement of educators in planning teacher development programmes, improving working conditions and school environments, efficient and effective communication between the department of education and the schools, teacher support, employing the right people for the right positions and improving the status of the teaching profession. On the basis of these findings, a case is made for the creation and nurturing of learning communities or communities of practice.

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