A study of factors related to admission problems in colleges of education in Transkei in 1995.
Gwagwa, Yoliswa Lindelwa.
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A common feature of colleges of education in Transkei in the early nineties was the crisis during the admissions period. This study investigated the extent to which factors such as nepotism, political interference, ethnicity and others affected admissions to colleges of education in Transkei in 1995. Random samples of student-teachers, lecturers, rectors and community members of selected colleges of education were drawn from target populations of all Course I student-teachers, all lecturers of 14 colleges, all rectors of colleges of education, and communities of all 14 colleges of education in Transkei. Thus, samples of 313 student teachers, 100 lecturers, 35 members of community and all seven rectors of colleges were studied. Both quantitative and qualitative research techniques were used to collect data. In this study questionnaires were used to collect information from student teachers and lecturers, interviews were conducted with rectors and community members to obtain the necessary data. Data analysis, using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) computer package revealed the following: 1. It was found that contradictions and ambiguities existed in the admission guidelines and procedures. It was also discovered that there were discrepancies between guidelines and practices in admission to colleges of education. These could be avoided if all stakeholders were involved in policy formulation thereby ensuring that no one member could be accused for admission problems. 2. The applicants and communities perceived that the right to demand access to colleges of education also contributed to the problem of admissions. 3. It was found that the automatic bursary allocation to student teachers greatly contributed to the admission crisis. 4. Factors such as nepotism, ethnicity and bribery also contributed to the crisis. 5. Other findings related to the perception that teaching was an easier option than other careers, and this also contributed to the crisis. 6. A surprising finding was that respondents did not perceive political influence to have significantly affected the admission procedures in colleges of education in Transkei. From the findings, a conclusion was drawn that the problems of admissions and registration in colleges of education were aggravated by the contradictory policies of the Affiliated Colleges Board (ACB) and the Department malpractices by college authorities, and by community pressure. Thus, the major stakeholders in the colleges, namely, rectors, lecturers and prospective student-teachers were to blame for the crisis. Based on the above conclusion, recommendations were given as follows : 1. Community members, student-teachers, lecturers and rectors should be involved in policy formulation concerning admissions. 2. The autonomy for colleges of education can be the aim so as to avoid dual control on crucial matters of college governance, such as student admission and registration. 3. Admission requirements should be upgraded to ensure that only adequately qualified candidates apply for admission. 4. Central admission be utilised in order to minimize corruption in the students' admission and registration processes. 5. In view of the finding that availability of funding through the bursary scheme influenced potential trainees to seek admission to colleges of education, the bursary system, as was in force in 1995, be phased out in favour of a loan scheme. The rationale for this being that only candidates who have an interest in a teaching career would apply for admission. 6. A recommendation for further research is that a similar study should be conducted in other parts of South Africa in order to determine how other colleges conducted their admissions and avoided the problems identified in this study.