Exploring what sustainable school-community partnership entails : a case study of four rural primary schools in Ndwede.
Khuzwayo, Qaphelisani Obed.
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This study explored what sustainable school-community partnership entails in the four rural primary schools in Ndwedwe context. It was a multi-site case study that examined the formation of a health promoting partnership, its activities as well as the factors that the key partners viewed as sustaining it. I utilised three research questions to understand the formation, activities and enabling factors. Though literature on school-community partnerships was available, there existed knowledge gaps regarding what makes such school-community partnership sustainable. The Capital and Servant Leadership theories were twin frames that provided the lenses through which I studied such sustainable partnership. The study was a qualitative inquiry nested in the interpretive paradigm. I generated data from school principals, life skills co-ordinators, School Governing Body chairpersons and stakeholder representative groups from government departments. The major data generation tools were semi-structured interviews supplemented by observations and document analysis. I found that the partnership could not have succeeded without the rural schools joining hands with the outside support team. Notably, acquiring such support required the opening up of school leadership. Sustainable school-community partnership required the spirit of continuously working together among the partners that was underpinned by sacrificing with personal time; regular sharing of health services; frequently providing social, educational resources and intellectual capital; continuous monitoring, assessment and evaluation of partnership progress. This meant that Health Promoting School partnership was an intergovernmental related continuous working linkage that focused on the provision and sharing of assets as well as making regular checks on the utilisation of such resources in rural settings. Thus, my thesis is that sustainability of school-community partnership depends on the extent to which passionate, committed and servant partners play a part, a continued mobilisation and sharing of all forms of capital that they (all multi-stakeholders) bring into their relationship to turnaround schools in general and in the marginalised schools in particular.
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