An evaluation of the outcomes-based education policy in public schools in the Empangeni region.
Ngubane, Mpilo Brilliance.
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This thesis aimed at evaluating Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) policy in public schools in the Empangeni Region. Although South Africa is now a free and democratic country with a new system of education, some inequalities still exist among public schools which make it very difficult for them to implement OBE policy in the same way. It is therefore necessary to evaluate how educators view OBE policy. This research aimed at finding out (a) the policy measures that apply to OBE as a policy, (b) the extent to which normative factors apply in the implementation of education policy, (c) factors that hinder or promote effective implementation of OBE policy in public schools and (d) the model that can be recommended for the effective implementation of OBE policy. For purposes of orientation of the study it had to be located within its background which motivated it. The field of education in South Africa has always experienced problems especially with its policies. Some of these problems motivated the researcher to undertake this study and because of their significance they had to be stated in this research. The statement of the problem provided a foundation within which the aims of the study were explained. The significance of any research cannot be overemphasized. However, this one becomes even more significant because it comes up at a crucial period in South African education. This is a period when policies that were implemented in the country after 1994 should be evaluated. It is true that not all problems that relate to education policy can be solved at once. This therefore necessitated that delimitation of the study be clearly stated. There is virtually no study without its limitations, especially if it has to be done in public schools. These limitations were stated. For the purposes of clarity the terms that were constantly used in the study were defined and explained. The demarcation of the study provided a clear picture of the outline of chapters. The study had to be contextualized within the existing theoretical and conceptual perspectives that apply to public policy, policy-making process and OBE policy. Theory had to be drawn from different sources to find out whether OBE policy does adhere to the expectations of public policy in general. The policy-making process is one area that plays a very important role in the success of the implementation process. This necessitated that OBE policy be evaluated in terms of whether it followed necessary policy processes before and during its implementation. It also became necessary to present critical viewpoints on OBE policy as understood by its critics. This criticism culminated in the Revised National Curriculum Statement which was also discussed in great details in this study. This study had to outline the research methods and techniques used. The nature of the study necessitated the use of only questionnaires and interview schedule to elicit information from educators. It is true that there is no single research instrument without its limitations. It is for this reason that information obtained through the questionnaire had to be validated through the interview schedule. The researcher presented, analyzed and discussed research findings at the same time. The nature of the study enabled the use of tables and frequency distribution to present data. Because there was a lot of information to analyze, it sufficed to use descriptive statistical analysis. Discussion of data entailed interpretation and integration of data based on its presentation and analysis. In drawing conclusions the researcher realized that the present South African education system still has problems. To obviate these problems recommendations were made to the government, the education department in KZN and schools. This research culminated into a model of implementation which is the researcher's own creation intended to help all stakeholders have a clear direction in the implementation of OBE policy. The researcher did not only experience challenges inherent in the research process but also professional development. This learning experience is discussed as reflections on learning.