African Parents as Partners in School Governance in South Africa?
AbstractPartnership in education is a global phenomenon, which is relatively new in the South African context. This is especially so in African communities, which pre-1994 did not have legitimate representation in education issues. This paper problematizes the phenomenon of school- parent partnership. The paper acknowledges that parental representation in the selected schools is in line with the prescriptions of South African Schools Act (SASA) 84 of 1996. This inclusion only refers to their numerical representation. When it comes to participation, however the parents seem to have positioned themselves as outsiders, as have educators. As a result, parents mostly rely on and rubber stamp whatever the educators have already decided. This study used the qualitative research approach through structured and semi structured interviews and documentary analysis to investigate how the partnership between parent SGB members and educators unfolds in school governance. From the findings it emerged that parent SGB members were mere pseudo partners in matters of policy development and implementation in the selected schools. As the government has enacted some progressive pieces of legislation such as SASA, this paper is calling for communities, especially Black African one to regroup and reclaim their place in education as they did, when they reclaimed their political freedom from the minority white regime pre- 1994.
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