Adult education and training centres, known as Public Adult Learning Centres were managed by the Department of Basic Education until 31st March 2015. On the 1st April 2015, Public Adult Learning Centres were transferred to the Department of Higher Education and Training and changed to Community Learning Centres (CLCs). The educators were not trained, coached or prepared for the transition. This inquiry explores transition through management change: the experiences of Community Learning Centre educators from basic education to Higher Education. This study was conducted by employing the qualitative approach using an interpretive paradigm and multiple case study design.
Kurt Lewin’s (1951) three stage theory was used as theoretical framework to assist me in bringing theory and practice together to understand the educators’ experiences from their individual meaning and understanding of the transition. The data collection strategies, namely, in-depth face-to-face semi-structured interviews with educators and centre managers were employed. Document analysis was also used to probe the opinions and views of the educators and centre managers. The sample comprised multiple case studies of four CLCs in the Tshwane South District.
The main purpose of the study was to find out how educators and centre managers of CLCs understand, respond and manage the transitioning through management change from the Department of Basic Education to the Department of Higher Education and Training and to highlight the views and opinions of educators and centre managers regarding the transition. The study attempted to further assist educators, centre managers, Community Education and Training College principal and the Department of Higher Education and Training to effectively implement and manage the implemented change or transition under study as well as any transition that may be effected in future.
The study found that educators and centre managers are battling to deal with the transitioning through management change in Community Learning Centres. Educators and centre managers are confused, depressed and fear the loss of their
jobs due to the introduction of hard skills learning areas as they are not trained to offer those skills.
In the light of the findings, the study recommends that Community Education and Training Colleges and the Department of Higher Education and Training should address and support CLCs with physical and financial resources for them to be effective and functional. Educators and centre managers’ challenges and concerns should be addressed accordingly to eliminate fears and reduce animosity amongst staff members.