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The role of HODs in curriculum management in a secondary school in KwaMashu, Durban.

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The Head of Departments (HODs), as managers of secondary schools, manage curriculum and while doing that, they encounter challenges that hinder them from taking informed decisions and these challenges require various skills and knowledge in order to overcome them. However, these challenges begin from the day that HODs are appointed because they are never trained for their new demanding roles of managing curriculum, in as much as there is no support and mentoring after induction and follow up training. It has been assumed that newly appointed HODs know what is expected of them. This research sought to examine the roles of the HODs in curriculum management in secondary schools. The objectives of the research were to examine the challenges that HODs face in relation to curriculum management, to identify the leadership traits and attributions that are required for the HOD position, to determine the strategies that can be developed to improve HODs training to effectively handle curriculum management. The qualitative research approach was followed, using the semi-structured interviewing instrument to collect data. A qualitative sample of fifteen stakeholders, eight were School Management Team (SMT) and three representative of the School Governing Body (SGB) teacher component, two from circuit office and the other two from the district office (all permanently employed by the Department of Education), were selected through purposive sampling, to participate in the study. The key findings of the study indicated that the HODs induction used to be conducted, thereafter, the DoE focused only at schools that were identified as underperforming schools, which were under 30% (T30) matric pass results for this study. That was when the department paid attention to assist the SMT with the challenges that they were facing, and these included the fact that the teachers were not punctual in honouring periods, late submission of evidence to HODs (which identify early problems in curriculum management), lack of team work, as well as more loads of administration (which was adding more work to HODs work load). Based on these findings, the following recommendation were made: the HODs need to plan, consult and follow Annual Teaching Plan (ATP), ensure that assessment standards are up to standard, motivate and mentor teachers to perform to their maximum and it is important for inductions, training and development to take place all the time to ensure quality of education.


Master of Business Administration in Business and Leadership. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville, 2017.