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Policy Papers and Research

An investigation into appropriate ways of implementing institutional development (whole school development)

The purpose of this study was to investigate appropriate ways of implementing institutional development (whole school development). In order to get more information on the topic of this study, the researchers carried out an intensive literature review

Summary of major findings and conclusions.
Findings and conclusions pertaining to principals:

*Almost all principals are social and human scientists; there is hardly any principal qualified in mathematics and natural sciences. Therefore, most principals are limited in scope as far as innovations and creativity in maths, science and technology are concerned.

*Very few principals have done postgraduate studies. They are traditionalists and lacking in new knowledge related to their subject specializations, curriculum innovations and educational development as a whole.

*Majority of the principals lack knowledge and skills in educational management and administration; curriculum planning; and supervision of instruction. As such they cannot demand proficiency from teachers. They are no longer instructional leaders of their schools, but rather figureheads, who tend to go along with whatever teachers and students decide.

Findings and conclusions pertaining to teachers:

 *While most teachers in functional high schools have sound academic and professional qualifications, the majority of teachers in dysfunctional schools hold Std 10 certificates and teaching diplomas as their highest qualifications.

*Functional schools insist on employing parents are illiterate, most of the mothers not having gone to school at all.

*Majority of students are undisciplined - involved in cases of truancy, abusive language, fighting and rudeness.

*Abolition of corporal punishment and the anti-child culture are mostly associated with studens in discipline by educators.

*Some students in dysfunctional schools are involved in alcohol abuse.

*There is no trace of indulgence in drugs by students in Thohoyandou High Schools.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS PERTAINING TO THE ROLE OF TEACHERS IN CURRICULUM DECISION-MAKIng:.

*Majority of teachers lack knowledge, skills and experience in curriculum development.

*Teachers are not represented in the process of curriculum decision-making and development.

*Majority of teachers have never attended any seminar, workshop, conference or panel meeting on curriculum development.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS PERTAINING TO MATRIC EXAMINATIONS.

*Most dysfunctional schools do not complete the matric syllabi on time; and do not set aside adequate time for review before examinations.

*English as a medium of instruction is found very difficult by most students.

*Lack of resources, low teacher motivation and laxity in school laws seem to contribute to high failure rate in matric exam and poor standards.

*Lack of guidance and counselling to students in choice of subjects was common among most students.

*Functional schools appear to be over-engaged in rote-learning and exam-driven teaching-learning drills.

*The curriculum for subjects like Biology, Geography, History was too long to be completed on time for matric examinations.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS PERTAINING TO TEACHING STANDARDs:

*Lack of qualified teachers in dysfynctional schools. Some teachers in dysfynctional schools still teach subjects they were not trained for.

*Too much dependence on text-books as source of content and knowledge - especially by teachers in dysfunctional schools.

*Poor English by teachers and students. *Failure to use a variety of teaching methods by a majority of teachers in dysfunctional schools.

*Lack of commitment by teachers : coming late, not honouring periods, etc.

*Serious shortage of teachers in subjects such as Maths and Science, Accounting, Art, and Technical in most schools.

*The problem of high teacher-student ratio in all schools contributes significantly to poor teaching and learning standards.

*Lack of reliable arrangements for monitoring and checking the work of teachers.

*Lack of consistency in supervision of instruction by principals and circuit managers.

*Heavy teaching load for teachers in all schools.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS PERTAINING TO RESOURCEs:

*Majority of schools have inadequate and or poor educational facilities:

-classrooms are few, poor and over-crowded
-tiny staffrooms - especially in functional schools; and in most dysfunctional schools there are no staff rooms/offices
-no libraries in most schools
-no computers in almost all schools
-very poor sports and recreation facilities in all schools 
-majority of schools lack toilets or have very unhealthy sanitary services.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS PERTAINING TO CULTURAL CONSTRAINTS TO THE CULTURE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING:

*The following factors were considered disruptive to school activities/programs:

-initiation and circumcision schools
-religious beliefs
-traditional dances
-corrupt adults.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS PERTAINING TO STUDENTS' PRIVATE STUDY EXPERIENCES:

*Lack of guidance on study skills - especially in dysfunctional schools.

*Failure of majority of students to draw up study time-tables at home.

*Poor study facilities at home: no private rooms for study, no electricity, no paraffin, etc.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS PERTAINING TO INVOLVEMENT OF PARENTS IN EDUCATION:

*Majority of parents are illiterate and pre-occupied with employment and unemployment problems.

*Lack of cooperation with mgmbers of SGB.

*Lack of cooperation with teachers and principals.

The findings and conclusions of this study reveal that the rate and level of School Development in relation to the Culture of Teaching and Learning and School Governance is generally very poor across Thohoyandou high schools. This is not caused by a single factor. There are several inter-related factors contributing to this situation.

Schools cannot be expected to function well and produce quality services and products under conditions such as the ones revealed above. Low academic qualifications of most teachers, combined with factors such as high teacher-student ratio, poor classrooms, lack of school libraries, lack of staff-rooms, lack of staff development programmes, low teacher morale, students and staff indiscipline, poor skills in school governance by principals and heads of departments, poor home environment, lack of parental involvement in education and so many other factors need to be addressed seriously in order to improve the culture of teaching and learning, school governance and whole school development in Thohoyandou and similar contexts.

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