Resource mobilisation for the sustainability of schools within rural context: voices of school stakeholders at UMzimkhulu circuit in Harry Gwala District Municipality.
Mkhize, Themba Ralph.
MetadataShow full item record
Research has suggested that if we are to make a difference in the lives of those who live, work and learn in rural contexts, we urgently need studies with a focus on identifying existing resources and assets in communities and schools, and among individuals and groups, as well as on how we might harness them to effect the desired social change. In response to this need, the study’s purpose is to explore and identify ways through which schools within rural contexts identify and mobilise resources. It focuses on the nature of resources within the rural context, the strategies used for identifying and mobilising resources within rural contexts, and the conditions that are conducive to the successful application of strategies used for identifying and mobilising resources for supporting educational processes, as well as the challenges experienced during resource identification and mobilisation. The overarching research question for this study is: What are possible strategies for identifying and mobilising resources for the sustainability of schools within rural contexts? The South African Schools Act advises that, through school leadership which includes school governing bodies (SGBs) and school management, schools are required to supplement resources provided by the State (RSA, 1996b). However, this study discovered a gap in the literature, in terms of how school leaders and school stakeholders can identify and mobilise resources for the sustainability of schools within rural contexts. This is a qualitative study, underpinned by Critical Emancipatory research (CER), which has its foundations in the critical theory paradigm. To understand the issue of resources, the study draws from the asset-based approach and resource mobilisation as its theoretical underpinning guided by traditions of participatory research and critical emancipatory research, Free Attitude Interviews (FAI), SWOT analysis and Transect walks coupled with photovoice were used to generate data. Through transect walks and photovoice, this study identified crucial resources and approaches or strategies for resource identification and mobilisation which are suitable for the context of rurality. These resources include local businesses, government and non-government organisations, traditional leadership, parents, school history and other organisations as crucial providers of material and human resources. The key strategies for assets identification and mobilisation were found to be the creation of school-community relations, schools’ consistency in producing good results, participation in multi-stakeholder engagements and forums, running schools like businesses and building from schools’ rich history. The study also identifies conditions that are conducive to the successful application of resource mobilisation and the challenges thereof. The key findings of this study revealed that resources are not always situated far from rural communities and schools as the prevailing discourse on rurality and availability of resources has always suggested. Informed by findings, the study proposes four stages that schools can use towards identifying and mobilising resources. The stages aim at consolidating and presenting all discussions made in chapter five and six thereby creating a meaning as to how the asset-based approach and resource mobilisation theory may be utilised in the mobilisation of resources. The proposed stages, as I indicated above, link with all areas discussed in this study, which includes identifying the nature of resources within rural contexts, identifying strategies for identifying and mobilising resources within rural contexts and creating conditions conducive to the successful application of strategies for identifying and mobilising resources. Finally, the last stage involves identifying challenges for resource identification and mobilisation.