Exploring how principals promote parental involvement in secondary schools: a case study of three secondary schools in the Umbumbulu Circuit.
This study is partly responding to an uproar from the public generally and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education (KZNDoE), in particular, that in most schools within the province, there is a lack of parental involvement whilst serious problems in many schools persist Many schools in KwaZulu-Natal province are experiencing problems which have eventually resulted in poor quality education. This study explored how principals promoted parental involvement in secondary schools. The promotion of parental involvement in the affairs of the school is one of the responsibilities of the school principal. In view of this expectation by the government and the Department of Education, this study therefore, was underpinned by an assumption that principals are promoting parental involvement in schools. The study sought to get an insight into what principals did in order to promote parental involvement. It also attempted to find out what principals regarded as the benefits of promoting parental involvement in schools, and what they consider as barriers. The studied schools were drawn from three different South African social contexts of semi-urban and rural areas. This study adopted an interpretivist qualitative case study approach comprising three secondary schools. I chose interpretive research paradigm because it allowed me to interact closely with participants to gain insight and form clear understanding. The findings showed that participating schools were, to a large degree, successful in promoting parental involvement in the affairs of the school, despite some obstacles which persisted. The findings revealed that socio-economic issues such as unemployment, poverty, HIV/AIDS pandemic, poor communication between the schools and parents, educators who seem to be unwelcoming to parental involvement, low level of education of parents, reluctance of some parents to involve themselves in school affairs, were the main barriers to effective parental involvement.