Transforming township schools into learning organisations : the challenges of leadership and management.
Dlungwane, Bongani Johannes.
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The purpose of this study was to establish challenges associated with leadership and management in transforming township schools into learning organisations. The study examined the leadership and management styles that promote schools into learning organisations. Post apartheid South Africa heralded changes in society and the educational system as a whole. Both transition from the apartheid era and the advent of a democratic government in 1994 resulted in the restructuring of education in this country. School managers and leaders are faced with situations in which effective and efficient school management requires new demands and challenges. During the apartheid era educational managers were subjected to many forms of suppression, which favoured the previous government. The education system was characterized as being authoritarian, non-consultative and non-participatory. Educational leadership focused on technical and bureaucratic functions of the school, and greater emphasis was placed on vertical structures. Leadership and management in South Africa today calls for a different mindset. The challenge is for leaders to recreate schools as learning organisations that focus on results and accountability. Real transformation will depend upon the nature and quality of internal management and how principals execute, delegate, consult and participate with all stakeholders. Self-management is accomplished by an internal distribution of power within the school and in transformational leadership. School principals need to adopt a new paradigm of leadership in which leaders are intuitive and visionary. Democratic South Africa places emphasis on transformational leadership. The study recommends that principals need to align themselves with the values of the constitution of the country bearing in mind democracy, equality, human dignity, freedom and justice. The challenges and need for leadership and management are great if education is to be uplifted and transformed. One of the main findings of the research in the researched schools was that there was an understanding of transformational leadership and learning organisations. The study also showed that the understanding of these concepts help to translate school activities into better performance.