This study aims to explain the relationship between FET policy origination and management practices at college level in Gauteng. Empirical evidence shows that there exist a gap between policy and practice. Literature points out that since 1994 South Africa has passed laws that created favorable conditions for policy development. The success or failure of government FET policies can be judged at college level. According to research some managers in former technical colleges lack skills and knowledge to successfully implement government transformation initiatives. Lack of management capacity at college level is cited as the reason for the non-implementation of policy. Policy makers derive policy from political, social and economic imperatives and infuse this with theoretical sources that describe how the policy process works and are often less sensitive to the practical conditions in which the policy is to be implemented. Conversely, policy implementers are primarily guided by contextual and systemic considerations as they implement policy. In this thesis it is argued that understanding the processes of policy development and implementation can assist in explaining the relationship between government policy and management practices at college level. The study interrogates policy intentions by analyzing the original meaning of FET policy from the originators’ perspective and juxtaposes this with the understanding of policy implementation from the implementers’ perspective and describe the relationship between intended and implemented policy. A qualitative research design using semi-structured interviews to gather data from participants was used. Purposive sampling was used to select participants from policy originators and college managers. Six main themes were distilled from the data collected: centralization vis-a vis decentralization; resources; structures; curriculum; governance, and strategic planning. Findings revealed how issues of power and authority affect policy development and implementation. The study establishes that policy implementers need capacity, power and authority to plan and make decisions on policy implementation, but decision-makers at higher levels of the system often subjugate these powers. For policy implementation to match policy intentions policy implementers need capacity and authority to understand, plan and make policy implementation decisions.
Thesis (PhD (Education Management, Law and Policy))--University of Pretoria, 2008.