The role of leadership in addressing learner enrolment decline in two Eastern Cape rural junior secondary schools : SMTs perspective.
Gogo, Desmond Monde.
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This qualitative study explored learner enrolment decline and the perspectives of SMTs regarding their leadership role in addressing learner enrolment decline in two Eastern Cape rural junior secondary. Learner enrolment decline has an impact on the number of teachers that are to be employed in schools. A case study was conducted in two Eastern Cape rural junior secondary schools in Flagstaff town. The participants were SMTs of both rural junior secondary schools. This study was located in the interpretive paradigm. Documents reviewed and semi-structured interviews constitute the research instruments for data generation. This study was framed by Weitzel and Jonsson’s (1989) model of organisational decline and Transformational Leadership Theory. Local, continental and globally scholastic works, on the research topic, were interrogated to seek insights into the progress so far made and determine the agenda to the explored phenomenon of learner enrolment decline. The analysis and discussion of the generated data showed that learner enrolment decline in two Eastern Cape rural junior secondary schools was caused by a myriad of factors such as the following: teacher absenteeism, incompetence of teachers, shortage of teachers , dearth of learner leadership, poverty, lack of resources and migration. The following were the recommendations of the study based on the findings and conclusions: It was suggested that SMTs should initiate leadership workshops within the school. They should invite departmental officials to facilitate them. SMT members should stimulate learners, teachers, parents and other stakeholders to be creative and innovative in addressing learner enrolment decline in those two participant schools. It was suggested that SMT members should empower themselves by initiating conflict management workshops as to alleviate conflict among themselves and their subordinates. Fund raising committee should be established as to raise fund to assist in providing some of the resources such as electricity and water. Recycling should also be promoted so as to improvise for the schools. SMT members should empower teachers and learners with skills of recycling old materials. Technology as a learning area should be enhanced so that learners can be taught to design commodities that can be sold as to alleviate poverty. Learners and the community should be educated on the importance of education. Parental involvement should be promoted. Curriculum should be enhanced. The purpose of the study was to explore SMTs perspectives of their leadership roles pertaining to learner enrolment decline in two Eastern Cape rural junior secondary school. Implications for further study were to do a comparative study of learner enrolment decline phenomenon across districts and provinces including an increased sample size, sample population and time.