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Re-thinking education in South Africa : case studies of community participation in education in the Durban Functional Region.

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The inadequacies of Black education have been approached from various angles including government intervention in the form of legislation, socio-economic measures, and others. People have also discovered this inadequacies and are struggling to resolve them in the form of 'alternative schools' or 'people's education' campaigns. The focus of this thesis is on community participation in the provision of education looking at two case studies in the Durban Functional Region. The theoretical framework for the study was threefold: derived from the development literature incorporating community participation; followed by a review of the literature on space; and a discussion on education - people's education. Data was gathered from intensive interviews, group discussions, newspaper articles, school reports and other documents. This assisted in giving an insight into the particular forms that community participation took in the two case studies. The following processes were identified from the study: processes of conflict and opposition and processes of co-operation in sharing a common task. These were analysed based on parameters such as: goals, concerns, students, community involvement, accountability, finance, sustainability and empowerment. The salient yet powerful features of the study were that of 'space' and 'locality' which presented a powerful force explaining the specificity of the processes in each of the case studies. The case studies succeeded in critically illuminating the precise meaning and evolution of community participation, its theoretical consistency, spatial sensitivity and also assessed its practicality. Furthermore, the study emphasised that local and domestic strategies in the provision of education need to be re-enforced through positive national or state interventions. Finally, as demonstrated in the two case studies, context-specificity should be the guiding principle in any community participation efforts.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of Natal, 1993.


Theses--Development studies., Educational sociology--South Africa., Community and school--South Africa., People's education--South Africa.