This study probes into the influence of community structures on school governance in South African public schools, with specific reference to schools in the Bushbuckridge area. The study departs from the premise that education as a public domain and its governance should not be left exclusively to teachers, but to all who have genuine interest in it. It starts by looking at the partial devolution of decision-making authority to school committees, school boards and committee boards which governed schools in term of the Education Act of 1953 (Bantu Education Act 47 of 1953) and Government Notice No. R642 of 8th May 1964. The devolution of decision-making authority to the above structures is regarded as partial because these structures were made up of parents only, leaving out teachers, learners and other stakeholders in the school governing bodies (SGBs) as representing all the groups which are directly affected by activities in the school namely, parents of learners at the school, learners in the eight grade and higher, educators at the school and non-educator members. In view of the fact that parents, in particular, may belong to some structures in their communities, such as a church or a tribal authority, this study probes if such community structures may have an influence on the manner in which schools are governed. Chapter one of this study focuses on the aims of the study, general orientation and background, the method of studying the problem, the purpose of the study as well as elucidation of operative research concepts. Chapter two focuses on the pre-1994 school governance model i.e the governance by school committees, committee boards and school boards. This investigation is primarily aimed at establishing if this model had an influence on how schools are governed today. In chapter three, emphasis is placed on the three community structures, namely church formations, tribal authorities and SGBs. The context within which these structures are regarded as community structures is explained and samples of members from the churches and tribal authorities are interviewed and a case study for the SGBs is conducted. An ideal typical school governance structure is also consolidated. In chapter four the responses of the subjects to the interviews and the case study are analysed. This chapter also discusses the final research findings, presents a conclusion and recommendations for further research.
Dissertation (MEd (Education Management and Policy Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2006.