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A Critical Review on Academic Performance Improvement Plans of Underperforming Rural Public High Schools in Mopani West District, Limpopo Province

A.B Mohale
N.F Litshani
T.S Mashau
H Moyo


The purpose of the study was to critically review academic performance improvement plans of underperforming rural public high schools in Mopani West District, Limpopo Province. The quality of learners’ performance in rural public schools has raised serious concerns. School principals are expected to develop clear goals towards improving the culture of teaching and learning for quality learners’ performances. However, rural public schools are still struggling to produce quality results. Effective school leadership is the critical element in the success of schools. The study was conceptualized within the interpretive paradigm, guided by Hersey Blanchard’s situational leadership theory complemented by Maslow’s Hierarchy of need theory, subsumed under a qualitative research approach. Documents review approach was employed as data collection method; to review existing documents. Purposeful sampling was employed to select schools and relevant documents to be reviewed for the study. Data collected were analysed thematically and descriptively by checking documents against other documents collected. Findings revealed that academic performance improvement plans (APIPs) of underperforming rural public high schools do not address subjects’ specific challenges. The study recommended that the developed (APIPs) must address subject specific challenges as outlined in the national senior certificate (NSC) diagnostic report. An Action-Based Academic Performance Improvement Model (ABAPIM) was proposed to assist school principals in developing the APIP to turn around learners’ performances.

Key words: Academic performance improvement plan, Underperforming, Public high schools