Towards quality management : the role of heads of departments in secondary schools in the Klerksdorp-area
Wessie, Mokgadi Cecilia
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This study has focused on the concept of quality management in the educational context and the role that Heads of Departments play, as part of management in enhancing qualrty in schools. Quality, nowadays, is at the top of most agendas and improving quality probably the most challenging task facing institutions and the education department. The Department of Education has however introduced policies, like, Whole School Evaluation, Performance Management and Development System and Developmental Appraisal, which are all consolidated into one system, namely, the Integrated Quality Management system (IQMS). All these are endeavours to address the quality issue in schools through evaluation. The department also takes cognisance of the fact that at the core of quality is good management. The changes in the new dispensation, in terms of education has thus set new parameters for management practices in schools. As a direct consequence of these changes, for example, there was the introduction of the South African Schools Act no. 84 of 1996 from which new structures for management evolved. This evolution led to new roles and responsibilities for school managers, the School Governing Body (SGB) and the proliferation of school management teams (SMTs). Because central to quality management in any organization is a well defined structure with clear roles and responsibilities, this study focuses also on middle management's contribution to ensure effectiveness in a school system. The role of HODS, the context under which they function, factors that affect their performance together with skills that they possess are examined order to determine why delivery of quality service, in secondary schools in the Klerksdorp Area is still a challenge.