The social and psychological impact of rationalization and redeployment of educators : a KwaZulu-Natal case study.
The study investigated the effects of rationalisation and re-deployment amongst a statistically sound sample of educators in the Province of KwaZulu Natal. It examined primarily the social and psychological effects of such phenomena in the lives and careers of educators, in a province that has gone through political , historical and ideological turbulence, violence and intimidation that had direct and indirect negative effects on educational patterns and processes. The literature review examined the various dynamics associated with these key phenomena in the educational system, including the legal frameworks and policies that shape the educational landscape, such the South African Schools Act. It needs to be said that such social and educational phenomena both shape and are shaped by the social and public policies of the democratic government that was elected from 1994 until today. These phenomena are an integral part of a series of processes that have been shaped by the various educational authorities in the new democratic dispensation, such as the various audits, new plans and strategies as well aspects of quality assurance and the like. These are inextricably linked with the dynamics unfolding in the educational terrain, especially in relation to rationalisation and re-deployment. These are situations that can be faced by all teachers, throughout the country, and it has been hoped that the internationally accepted scientific selection of the sample will permit the researcher to make inferences to similar or other populations. The study basically used two sets of data collection instruments, a structured questionnaire, and a Likert-scale type questionnaire .The questionnaires were administered to the groups of educators who were selected scientifically from the official lists of the KwaZulu Natal Department of Education. One hundred questionnaires were utilised, distributed collected and analyzed. The sample consisted of 45 males and 55 females. Amongst the sample there were educators who were both rationalised and re-deployed. The findings could be summarised as follows: • The majority of teachers felt strongly that rationalization and redeployment led to stress. • Stress created social and psychological problems for the educator, his/her immediate environment. • Redeployment and rationalisation had serious negative consequences on learners. • Most teachers reported that they were not coping with the stress associated with rationalization and redeployment as they created serious psychological and social problems. • There was no gender difference in the teachers' abilities to cope with stress associated with rationalization and redeployment. Most teachers expressed a negative attitude towards the policy of rationalization and redeployment. They felt it was a policy that created serious problems within the education system both at macro and micro level.