Successful implementation of equity driven policies has proven to be a difficult and vexing issue especially in developing countries. As a result, many educational reforms were found in practice to be at variance with their founding objectives. The purpose of this exploratory and descriptive study therefore was to trace the implementation pathway traveled by the National Norms and Standards for School Funding (NNSSF) Policy from the center (National Department of Education) to the periphery (school level). This was informed by the necessity to explain where, how and why the discrepancy developed between the policy intentions and educational outcomes (i.e. effects). The NNSSF policy aimed at the fundamental transformation of the schools since it requires the following things to happen : the delegation of financial management and authority to the School Governing Body (SGB), the day-to-day management of curriculum delivery, the generation of additional funds, and the improvement and maintenance of school infrastructure. The allocation and management of these functions constitute in what is called “self-managing schools”, thus freeing such schools from the bureaucratic processes associated with centralization. This (research) investigation is guided by two research questions: 1. How was the new School Funding Policy (SFP) implemented within and through the different levels of the education system? 2. What were the effects of the National Norms and Standards For School Funding (NNSSF) policy on equity at school level? In essence, this research explains how different education stakeholders understand the new funding policy, and with what effects. In tracing the course of the NNSSF policy, I paid special attention to policy breakdown by comparing and contrasting the views and estimations of various implementers across the four levels of the education system namely: national, provincial, regional and school levels. This research on the understandings of policy was not restricted to formal definitions of policy, but went further to seek understanding on the practical unfolding of the funding policy separately, and in relation to other policies. Data was collected over a period of seventeen (17) months. In this regard, I used multiple methods of data collection including profiling, semi-structured interviews, critical observations of the setting, document analysis, photographic records and structured questionnaires. The main findings of the study include the following : ¨ The National officials showed a legalistic and formal understanding of the NNSSF policy, but such understanding lacked a holistic, coherent and integrated approach to equity. ¨ The understanding of the policy varied among the provincial officials. But such understanding again demonstrated a bureaucratic or functionalist-oriented approach to the implementation of the NNSSF policy. This suggests that much emphasis was placed on observing protocol and official communication of the new policy.. ¨ The regional policy implementers demonstrated a limited understanding of the policy. Such an understanding could be characterised as a disengaging approach to policy and a sense of despair on how the implementation unfolded. ¨ The effects of the NNSSF policy on equity differed across the five case study schools. For example, previously advantaged schools (like Siege) experienced negative effects due to inadequate state allocation. This had ripple effects in the form of exorbitant school fees and the issuing of a lawsuit against a parent who was not able to pay such high fees. ¨ The previously disadvantaged schools were able to do their own planning which led to the timeous acquisition of resources as a result of the financial allocation to the school level. The key findings as well as the implications of this research only make this study unique, but also offer critical insights into policy implementation in developing contexts. The fact that the research involved the collection of data at four levels of the education system over a period of seventeen months generated extensive data sets for policy analysis. The collection of both qualitative (contextual) and quantitative data contributed to strengthening the validity and reliability of the study as a whole. Most importantly, the knowledge gained from this study not only offers policy lessons for the North-West province, but it yields important insights for policy implementers across the education system.
Thesis (PhD (Education Management and Policy Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2005.
What drives policy reform after long periods of policy inertia? What factors shape the effectiveness of
policy implementation following reform decisions? These questions increasingly concern the international
donor and ...
Mollo, Nicholus Tumelo(University of Pretoria, 2009-09-14)
Legal principles need to be considered when anti-bullying policies are established in public schools where bullying is taking place. The purpose of this study is to investigate how public schools establish anti-bullying ...
Gallie, Muavia(University of Pretoria, 2007-06-19)
Research on policy implementation suggests that many education reforms designed to improve the quality of education in general have been more rhetorical than substantive in their impact on the organisation of schools and ...