Independent Projects Trust

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South Africa has clearly articulated a progressive post-apartheid educational policy. However, among the stumbling blocks to implementation is the lack of skills and confidence of many school principals and the Department of Education is critically short of the funds necessary to provide much needed in-service training. Our many years of work in KwaZulu-Natal has shown that the most humble school, in the most disadvantaged area, with limited access to resources can still function effectively if the school principal shows commitment and dedication to the task and is able to gather a critical mass of like- minded people around her/him.

Conversely problems experienced within many of our dysfunctional schools can often be directly traced to negative and incompetent school management structures. Clear evidence of poor management skills is the continued use of corporal punishment, despite the fact that it is illegal, as a disciplinary tool in many schools within this province. The school is a key institution of civil society and this programme is for the development of governance skills and capacity among school management teams in disadvantaged areas of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

National Education Minister Asmal has clearly articulated his priority to restore the culture of learning and teaching through the national "Tirisano" project and in his speeches to Parliament.

The following are among the benefits and impact of this project :

Educators and management would be able to use new skills and draw on "best practice" as part of the attempt to improve the culture of learning and teaching in schools.
The schools concerned and the broader communities in which they are based - will benefit from this project.
The community and school parent body will benefit from the improved ability of school management to manage participatively, interact with, and build alliances with the broader community.
The creation of a more functional environment so that learners have access to education.

Among the outputs would be:

The school management team provide clear and effective management using appropriate mechanisms in the target schools
The school is accepted by the community and is part of community life

For more information and background try the following:

Curriculum 2005 and the South African Schools Act
Effective Schools and Educating for Democracy
Schools Management Briefings

For further information about this project please contact