The challenges experienced by school governing bodies in the implementation of the code of conduct for learners : a case study of two secondary schools in the Mafukuzela-Gandhi circuit.
This study investigated the challenges experienced by school governing bodies in the implementation of the code of conduct for learners. A case study was conducted in two secondary schools from the Mafukuzela-Gandhi circuit in the Pinetown Region of KwaZulu-Natal. The aims of this study was to find out how SGBs implement the code of conduct for learners at their schools; what challenges SGBs experienced in the implementation of the code of conduct for learners and why SGBs are regarded as the most important structure to implement the code of conduct for learners. This qualitative study was set in the interpretivist paradigm. The research tools compromises of semi-structured interviews, documents analysis and observations. The two theories which underpin this study are democratic school governance theory and discipline theory. A review of international and local literature around issues of discipline revealed that some of the challenges of learner discipline encountered by South African Schools were being experienced world-wide. The findings of this research were a revelation to me. I had the privilege of experiencing first-hand what secondary schools educators, managers and parents encountered and dealt with on a daily basis. It is evident that learner misdemeanor is on the increase; educator’s teaching time is being consumed in dealing with disciplinary issues; educators are becoming frustrated and demoralised; the tribunal hearing are not regarded as an effective structure by learners; parental involvement is lacking and parents seem to have abdicated the responsibility of their children’s behaviour and education to the school and SGB parents play a limited role in the activities of the school due to their incapacity and lack of empowerment. Some of the recommendations based on the findings are that schools must involve all stakeholders in the formulation of the policy. The contents and procedures outlined in the policy must be communicated to all stakeholders and there must be consistency in its application. SGBs must formulate innovative strategies to engage parents to actively participate in the activities of the school. The Department of Education must fulfill its obligation to capacitate parent and other stakeholders on the SGB. An empowered SGB will make a greater contribution to the governance of schools.