Collaboration between secondary school governing bodies and School disciplinary committees towards improving discipline
Majoro, Madika Patricia
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This study investigated the collaboration between school governing bodies (SGBs) and school disciplinary committees (SDCs) in dealing with discipline of learners. A case study of three secondary schools in North West province was done. The study’s main aim was to examine the collaboration between secondary school governing bodies and disciplinary committees on improving learner discipline in three selected secondary schools in a rural township, and how their collaboration can be used to improve discipline in these schools. Further aims of the study were to assess the effectiveness of the collaboration between SGBs and SDCs in improving school discipline to suggest ways of improving the collaboration and to add more depth to the existing body of knowledge. A qualitative approach to the study was followed and was set in the interpretivist paradigm. The 21 participants were selected through purposive sampling of members of SGBs and SDCs who were part of the disciplinary processes in these schools. The researcher collected the data by using semi-structured interviews and document analysis. The data gathered was analysed through an interpretive data analysis process. Ethical clearance for the researcher to conduct this research was obtained from the North-West University. Approval for the research to be conducted at the three selected schools was granted in writing by the circuit manager. The identity of participants was protected by using code names. This study is based on a theoretical framework of collaborative governance. A review of literature pertaining to the management of ill-discipline at schools and the collaboration between SGBs and their subcommittees was done. The studies from the literature revealed that many of the challenges of learner ill-discipline encountered by South African schools were being experienced worldwide. The findings of this research were enlightening because it revealed the often-unknown daily experiences of secondary school educators and SGB members regarding ill-discipline of learners and the lack of support and involvement from the Department of Education (DOE) and most of the learners’ parents. It was evident from the findings that the collaboration between all education structures must be strengthened to create a purposive and conducive learning environment. The formulation and enforcement of the code of conduct require collaborative efforts by learners, parents, educators, SDC and SGB members. There is a lack of knowledge on the part of the SGB, SDC and parent members on the roles that they each must play to collaboratively improve discipline. One other finding was the availability and use of outdated and recycled codes of conduct, that do not incorporate changes in education. It is recommended that the DOE must also play its role in ensuring that SGB and SDC members are trained and capacitated to execute their expected functions effectively. The learner code of conduct must be inculcated in learners not only in secondary schools but also in primary schools. In addition, parents, educators and learners must continuously be made aware of its existence and understand its purpose.
- Education