The lack of parent involvement as hindrance in selected public primary schools in South Africa: the voices of educators
Munje, Paul Nwati
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Although parent involvement is fundamental for school functioning, the nature and extent of such involvement is debatable and contested amongst stakeholders. A qualitative based study underpinned by the interpretive paradigm was undertaken to explore the voices of educators regarding parent non-involvement and its implications for learner experiences and performance in a disadvantaged community in South Africa. Data was gathered through individual and focus group interviews, involving 3 principals and 12 teachers respectively. The paper is buttressed by Epstein’s model of school-family-community partnerships that advocates for genuine collaboration between stakeholders. The findings show that educators’ perceptions concerning parent non-involvement do not take into consideration the contextual realities that restrict involvement, and this serves to alienate parents further. The paper also reveals the gap that exist between policy and practice in terms of school-parent relationships. Existing relations, especially in disadvantaged communities emphasizes the need for schools to initiate and implement strategies that are context friendly, taking into consideration challenges experienced by parents. In this regard, empowering teachers on school-parent relationships is a vital ingredient to ensure the initiation and implementation strategies towards a sustainable parent involvement.