Exploring how the principals' leadership capacity influences governance and policy implementation in the rural schools of Sekhukhune: a case study of two poor performing secondary schools
Silulwane, Ntombizandile Dudu Frances
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This research studied the principal’s leadership capacity and how it influenced governance and policy implementation in the two poor performing rural secondary schools in the Sekhukhune District in the Limpopo province. The study focused on the leadership actions of the principals of these poor performing rural secondary schools when facilitating collaborative processes and collective decision making within the School Governing Bodies to ensure implementation of decentralised responsibilities and mandated directives of the department of education in South Africa. Leadership capacity and its effects on school systems was studied through document analysis to address assumptions that principals of poor performing secondary schools have leadership challenges and cannot lead teams and influence groups within their organisation. These schools have been poor performing below 40% for a period of five consecutive years. This study reviewed leadership activities and leadership types of principal leaders in their attempt to lead and guide school governance through SGBs towards provisioning of relevant support for quality education. The study also looked into the leadership of the principals to determine whether it was able to facilitate effective policy implementation through involvement of relevant stakeholders within these schools. The study has deemed it necessary to also review the level of support provided by the Sekhukhune District of Education to build capacity of these principal leaders so that they could improve learner performance. Contextual challenges that impacted negatively with the leadership capacity of these leaders were identified as reviewed from data collected and analysed. The findings showed that school principals had adequate leadership qualifications and experience that could have influenced school governance and other systems in these poorly performing schools. Results also showed that these two schools were fairly supported by the District but still challenges persisted and the schools continued to poorly perform. Insufficient monitoring and support for educators by the SMTs on curriculum recommendations from the district and high levels of learner ill-discipline might have impacted negatively on the performance of roles and might have resulted to learners performing poorly in the schools. The SGBs and parental involvement in school governance seemed not to have been sufficiently rendered. rendered and knowledge and understanding of legislation on school governance and implementation of policy directives in both curriculum and governance still needed some attention. The study further offered recommendations to assist the District in the implementation of leadership programmes that would be planned to further specifically for poor performing secondary school principals. Based on the studied documents, recommendations are provided to improve the leadership capacity of the principals in poor performing secondary schools ensuring that governance and policy implementation provide a conducive atmosphere for the delivery of quality education aimed at improving learner performance.