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Policy Papers and Research

An Investigation into Appropriate Ways of Implementing Institutional Development (Whole School Development)

"Although the idea of whole school development is an important one, there are numerous issues and problems which inhibit the development and efficiency of educational institutions world-wide.

Most of these problems are connected to poor methods of planning, poor staff development programmes, poor and undemocratic school management, lack of facilities, contradictions and conflicts between policy development and policy implementation strategies, poverty, etc.

In the case of South Africa, these and other institutional development issues have created a wide gap between what the country intends to achieve in terms of quantity and quality through its education policy and Curriculum 2005, and what is actually being done in schools to achieve it. This gap is especially visible in schools within highly disadvantaged communities and regions.

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 l earning, school governance and whole school development in Thohoyandou and similar contexts."

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