The role of teachers in the decision making processes that relate to school financial management in the Pinetown district primary schools.
Ncwane, Sithenjwa Hopewell.
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The promulgation into law of the South African Schools Act (SASA) in 1996 ushered a new era in South African school management and governance. Informed by a number of values such as accountability, transparency and participation that permeate the new South African Constitution, the SASA has decentralised certain powers to the local stakeholders at school level. It meant that teachers, principals, parents and learners (in high schools) can work together towards a common vision for the school. The School Governing Body was installed as the powerful legal structure. Teachers, as one of the important stakeholders, are represented in the SGB and can participate in school decision making processes. Teachers are important stakeholder because they are the ones who are at the critical level since they deal directly with the learners. Their participation inside and outside the SGB is important. Given the above background, a case study of two primary schools was conducted. The two schools were sampled using the convenience and purposive sampling methods. Semi-structured interviews and document analysis were used to gather data. Four teachers, two from each school were interviewed. Semi-structured interviews were deemed appropriate for this study because they give the researcher an opportunity to ask follow-up questions. This study documented teachers narratives about their experiences regarding their participation in the decision-making processes that relate to school financial management. Through teachers’ narratives, the factors that hindered or promoted their participation were also explored. The findings indicated that teacher participation in school financial decision making did exist in the case study schools but was minimal. Teacher participation seemed to be more confined to the operational decision such as making a list of classroom needs that should be part of the school budget. However, teachers were found not to be involved in strategic decisions where decisions on issues such as setting financial goals of the school were made. It was also found that, despite their minimal involvement, teachers were satisfied with the role that they were playing in the school financial decision making processes.