Promoting best interest and development of the school : perceptions of school governing bodies in rural schools
Baloyi, Rirhandzu Peggy Portia
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The South African Schools Act (SASA) 84 of 1996 gives the SGB a mandate to promote the best interest of the school and also to ensure its development. The SASA democratised school governance by giving schools to the communities and making it mandatory for parents to serve on school governing bodies (SGBs). The SGB is responsible for the promotion of the best interest and development of the school. The research sought the perceptions of members of the SGB on their role of promoting the best interest and development of the school. A detailed literature review was undertaken to determine what the best interest of the school and school development entail. The research investigated the type of training the SGB's received in promoting the best interest and development of the school. A qualitative research design, embedded in the interpretivist paradigm in the form of a phenomenological study was chosen as the preferred method of research. Using a qualitative, phenomenological approach the researcher attempted to examine personal experiences and viewpoints of SGBs with regards to their role of promoting the best interest and development of the school. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants in order to obtain insight on how they perceive their role of promoting the best interest and development of the school. Individual and focus group interviews were used to generate data. The researcher was guided, using an interview schedule during the interviews. The trustworthiness was ensured in the collection and interpretation of collected data. Collected data was transcribed and analysed. The data collected was analysed, interpreted and arranged under selected themes, using a content analysis. The main findings of the research include: - Findings with regard to the promotion of the best interest of the school. Literature revealed that the promotion of the best interest of the school mean that the SGB must exert its effort, commitment and dedication towards everything that is of the advantage of the school. The SGB is responsible for developing a strategy for ensuring that quality education is provided for all learners at the school. The SGB in the best interest of the school must formulate strategies to achieve the school's vision and mission whilst the principal and staff are responsible for the implementation thereof. SASA implies that school governors regardless of who elected them have to deal with, among other things, determining the admission policy, language and religious policies of the school; developing and adopting a code of conduct for learners; recommending to the HOD the appointment of educators. It is in the best interest of the school that the SGB and the SMT must work closely together in fulfilling their functions for the smooth running of the school. The role of the SGB in promoting the best interest of the school may include and not limited to the following matters relating to curriculum issues, provision of adequate resources and general support. - Findings with regard to training SGB's received in promoting the best interest of the school and school development. Some SGBs did not receive training at all. The few SGBs who received training underwent an induction workshop which was said to be insufficient and inadequate. The training did not capacitate members of SGBs on their key areas of operation as the whole scope of school governance was squeezed into some few hours of training. - Findings with regard to how the principal and members of SGBs in rural public schools perceive their role of promoting the best interest and school development. Most SGB members have a limited understanding of what promoting the best interest of the school entail. Some understanding was shown in promoting the best interest and development of the school through their involvement in the curriculum issues of the school, management of resources, offering different types of support to the school and the control of finances in the school. Many SGBs are still not involved in policy development in their schools. The development and understanding of policies still seem to be a challenge for most SGBs in rural schools. - Findings with regard to the formulation of guidelines to empower SGB members in rural areas in promoting the best interest and development of the school. Guidelines were formulated to empower SGBs on their promotion of the best interest and development of the school. Finally, recommendations were made to different levels of the Department of Basic Education to assist SGBs in the promotion of the best interest and development of the school
- Education 
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