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ERIC Number: EJ834426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jul
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3124
Effective Schools Operating with Amazing (Dis)grace of Human Resources Strategy, Policy and Practice: A South African Case
Cele, Nhlanhla
International Journal of Leadership in Education, v8 n3 p223-236 Jul 2005
The public profiling of schools as "effective schools", based on Grade 12 results, has resulted in a jingoistic race by many public schools to get their names on the "public notice board" of effectiveness recognition. Besides creating a skewed perception of school effectiveness, this public profiling of schools as effective organizations, conceptualised within an inadequate criterion (Grade 12 results), has not only stirred public controversy (when the national Minister of Education threatened to close down the least effective school), but has also been widely identified as a problem by researchers. The research conducted by Jansen (1998) discovered that besides contravening social justice legislation by beating facts into learners' minds (corporal punishment), most of these schools publicly branded as the most effective also subscribe to rigid authoritarian management and leadership practices, sometimes ignorant of legislation and policy imperatives. This paper presents a critical analysis of unplanned human resources (HR) practices and management styles observed in two of these "effective schools" where school principals and five educators per school were interviewed. The two schools studied are public high schools based in Durban at the Umlazi District. These schools offer education from grade 8 to grade 12 to the predominantly disadvantaged working class communities. The research findings reveal that the management of these schools is based largely on rigid practices that are devoid of strategic planning and consented investment, with respect to human capital development as aligned with human resources strategy and the broader Skills Development Act 97 of 1998 and other related labour legislation. The Skills Development Act of 1998-is the South African labour relations legislation that specifically claims space for skills-based training programmes in the education, training and development landscape. Under this Act, organisations are compelled to provide continuous training and Re-skilling of employees. These findings also reveal that critical policy and legislation on labour relations (Skills Development Act no. 97 of 1998 and Employment Equity Act) are not only contravened, but there are no state-led systems and processes in place to rectify the situation, cascade policy to staffroom level and reinforce school compliance with government policy and legislation. Educators are not treated as knowledge workers, but as mere civil servants, with limited professional development rights. This paper also draws parallels between these schools and best practices in human resources strategy in the corporate domain. The conclusions of the study clearly reveal that:(1) Educators in public schools work and live under total ignorance of human resources legislation; and (2) There is discontinuity in state policy reinforcement between public and private employers. (Contains 8 notes and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa (Durban)