A qualitative analysis of facilities maintenance – a school governance function in South Africa
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I analysed school facilities maintenance, a school governance function in South Africa. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 13 principals and three deputy principals as coordinators of this function at their schools. The interviews were purposively and conveniently selected to gather data regarding school facilities maintenance and gain insight into the challenges this function presents to schools and their governing bodies. Findings indicate that schools generally do not have organisational structures for planned facilities maintenance, nor do they have policies on facilities maintenance. Evidence of facilities maintenance at schools mainly relates to concerns with facilities repairs, (mostly "as the need arises") and general campus cleanliness; mostly with emergency and corrective forms of maintenance as opposed to crucial preventive maintenance. Therefore, there is a need for interim facilities maintenance committees and, in the long term, a whole-school approach to facilities maintenance that makes facilities maintenance a strategic lever for school functionality.
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