A principal's management of an urban secondary school in a turbulent environment : with special reference to KwaZulu schools.
The crisis in Black Education has dramatically influenced the manner in which principals manage their schools. What is clear is that for more than a decade school principal's have been faced with a complex task of managing schools in a changing environment, which is characterised by many upheavals. It would seem that every school principal will inevitably have to reconceptualise the school as a management structure and perhaps, accept certain guidelines for effective management of his school. Therefore, the specific purposes of the study were: to investigate the problems encountered by principals, who are assigned the duty of managing the schools in an unstable environment; to put forward proposals for effective management in a changing environment. In this study special attention was paid to the management of urban secondary schools under the Department of Education and Culture, KwaZulu. The major findings which emerged from the study are that : from 1976 to 1991 the school environment has not been stable enough for the principals to be able to practise their management and leadership skills effectively. that a number of factors within and outside the school have contributed to the disorder encountered in the schools; although principals continued in their positions as heads, they had almost no authority to suppress the unrest that threatened the normal functioning of their schools; that principals have to be innovative and flexible enough, to deal with the situation as it presents itself; that as long as the legitimacy of the KwaZulu Education System remains questionable to the communities, teachers and the pupils it servers, unrest in schools, under this Department, will never be eliminated and therefore principals will always remain deprived of their opportunity to manage their schools effectively. The study concludes with several recommendations arising out of the study. The most important being : the establishment of a single based purely on academic considerations rather than political considerations; as the school is part of its surrounding environment, recognition must be given to the norms, values and attitudes of the community from which its pupils are drawn; unrest related problems, that affect both the home and the school, can be overcome if parents meet regularly with principals and teachers and have discussions on matters of common concern, such as reducing the incident of truancy, methods of curbing drug abuse, methods of handling adolescent problems and selection of subject packages; maintenance of firm, fair and consistent discipline is essential for effective management of a school.
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