School governing bodies in addressing issues of democracy and social justice : a case study of two rural primary schools in KwaZulu-Natal.
This study investigated the role played by School Governing Bodies (SGBs) in addressing issues of democracy and social justice in schools. A case study was conducted in two rural primary schools from Ugu district in KwaZulu-Natal. The intention of this study was to highlight the factors that hinder full participation of all SGB members in public state schools, including rural primary schools. It was also to gauge the policies and strategies employed by SGBs when addressing issues of democracy and social justice in their schools. My study is a qualitative research which has utilized a case study approach. I have opted for a qualitative methodology because I intended to explore phenomena, (SGBs), in their natural settings and I was be able to use multi- data collecting methods, i.e. interviews, observations and document reviews, which enabled me to interpret, understand, explain and bring meaning to them (Anderson, 1998). I have opted for a case study approach because I was studying the particularity and complexity of two SGBs, coming to understand their activities within important circumstances, in this case, the SGB roles in addressing issues of democracy and social justice (Stake, 1995). The theories that underpin this study are democratic schooling and social justice. I have reviewed local and internal literature on parental involvement and social justice in this study. This project has afforded me with the opportunity to engage with SGBs through interviews and I have been able to gauge amongst other things, their understandings of the role that SGBs must play in addressing issues of democracy and social justice. I was also able to learn the frustrations experienced by SGBs when implementing the policies in schools. Some of these frustrations were due to the challenges that some educators and some parents pose for the SGBs in the day-to-day running of the SGBs. Based on the findings I have made some recommendations such as that schools must introduce class or grade representatives which could serve in some committees. Female learners could also be involved in activities such as debates in order to enhance their self-confidence. Policies that the SGBs use when addressing democracy and social justice in the schools could be translated into isiZulu to make sure that all stakeholders understand these policies. The Department of Education could also assist the schools in ensuring that parents in rural areas have access to ABET classes, where they can learn to read and write as well as acquire relevant skills.
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