Implementation of the integrated quality management system policy in public schools in the Ugu District.
Van der Watt, Peter Gregory.
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With the advent of democracy in South Africa in1994, a plethora of old pieces of legislation and policies have either been revised or new ones promulgated to address the gross inequalities of the apartheid state. In the context of education new policies were designed to improve the standard of education across public schools in the country. One such policy is the Integrated Quality Management System intended to support teachers in achieving quality education. Policy Design and Policy Implementation are separate concepts and it is well known that the intentions of the policy are not always achieved during implementation. It is clear that the State President, Jacob Zuma was cognizant of the disconnection between Policy and Policy Implementation when he stated at a meeting with school Principals in 2009 that “our wonderful policies that we have been implementing since 1994 have not essentially led to the delivery of quality education for the poorest of the poor”. He questioned as to why the policies have failed to deliver excellence and what should be done about it. Further, the Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga in her maiden Budget Speech asserted that: “The findings of Professor Jonathan Jansen’s committee on National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU) confirms what we all know, what the view is outside there and reasons for a general lack of public confidence in our education system”. The study explores the extent to which the implementation of the Integrated Quality Management System has indeed led to the delivery of quality education. The Policy was also intended to restore public confidence in the education system and the study aims to explore the extent to which this has been achieved. The Integrated Quality Management System was intended to ensure that the State is obtaining value for the money expended on education, the largest portion being allocated to the salaries of educators. It would appear not to be the case. In this regard, a Report issued by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD 2008) found that international studies have shown that the “returns to investment” in teacher education, or the quality of performance one might expect from learners in return for money spent on educators, is very low in South Africa, to the extent that “low educator productivity has been cited as the main reason for South Africa’s relatively poor performance” It is for the above reason that the National Policy on Whole School Evaluation which includes the Integrated Quality Management System, designed to address the problems of educator performance and poor learner attainment were put under the spotlight. The success of Policy Implementation, and the possible adaptation of existing policies to ensure that the desired results are achieved are also investigated in the study. Recommendations are made as to how policy might be reviewed or changed.