Principals and their possible power to influence quality education
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The National Department of Basic Education is aware that it is not succeeding in providing quality education for all school children. At present the performance of grade 3 and grade 6 learners, in both international and local assessment, is a matter for great concern. The results suggest that most learners lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. Learners’ performance in the National Senior Certificate Examinations is also far from what it should be. The way in which schools are managed largely determines the quality of education learners receive. As the managers of schools, therefore, principals are held responsible for the poor performance of learners during these annual systemic evaluations. The study aimed to investigate whether the school principals are aware of their powers and whether they perceive themselves as able to use their power to influence school practices positively and thus promote quality education. The study indicates that principals rely on a combination of positional and personal power sources to promote quality education. The study also indicates that principals are aware of their power but have a limited understanding of the concept of power. They also seem to lack the knowledge and understanding to exercise these powers effectively. Although they seem able to exercise considerable power in different situations, principals are reluctant to use their power. It seems that various external and internal factors influence their ability to use their power effectively.
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