The nature of participation by the parent component in rural schools governing bodies : a case study of two primary schools in Ntabamhlophe circuit in KwaZulu-Natal.
Ndlovu, Zwelinjani Kingdom.
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Since the establishment of SGBs in 1996, one of the key problems confronting provincial education departments has been the building of capacity of SGB members. This is more so in the previously marginalised and disadvantaged school communities. These structures could not claim to be democratic enough without the necessary skills and knowledge for parent component members to participate fully in school governance. The purpose of this study then, was to explore the nature and function of the parent component of rural School Governing Bodies (SGB) with regard to school governance as stipulated by the South African Schools Act, 84 of 1996 (SASA). As it is anticipated that members of the SGBs and the parents in rural area; cannot lead on the governance issues, this study, therefore, hoped to identify the barriers that the stop parent component from functioning effectively. Hence, social capital theory was used to measure the imbalances within the SGBs of two Primary Schools in Ntabamhlophe Circuit which falls under the Estcourt Circuit Management Centre (Estcourt CMC). This is a qualitative research study, situated in the interpretive paradigm with the aim of investigating the nature and functions of the parent component in the rural School Governing Body in two primary schools in KwaZulu-Natal. The key question with regard to addressing the investigation also concerns the parent competencies in practicing the policies as stipulated in SASA. The secondary questions look at how ‘social capital’ impacts on the rural SGBs as well as dynamics between policy and practise in relation to decision- making. This in-depth investigation of parental involvement utilised semi-structured interviews, observation as well as documents to gather data. The research population for each school constituted the principal, chairperson of the SGB, two parents, two educators and one noneducator. As the focus was on the parent component: - the age, qualification and experiences with regard to school governance was highlighted. This does not mean my study was a quantitative one as well but this would establish the changes that would have added value to the life of these parents. The findings revealed that most of the parent components in the SGBs are unemployed and being unemployed resulted in poor networking with other SGBs of other schools. Illiteracy is one of the impediments that impacted negatively towards being involved effectively in the governance of these two schools. The findings further reveal that parents could not adopt and interpret policies that pertain to finances as well as administering schools’ property, without explanation by the principals.