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South African Journal of Education

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Black parental involvement in education

P Singh, SM Mbokodi, VT Msila

Abstract


The South African Schools Act of 1996 (SASA) provides formal power in education to parents as well as communities. SASA creates the expectation for parents to be meaningful partners in school governance. It envisages a system where school-based educators would collaborate with the parents to ensure quality education, including curriculum matters such as outcomes-based education (OBE). An ethnographic study was conducted in historically disadvantaged black secondary schools. The study focused on the effects of black parental involvement on the success of their children. For a period of twelve months spread over two years (2002/2003), 24 parents with learners in eight different historically disadvantaged secondary schools (HDSS) were investigated. The findings of the study revealed that the black parents' role is crucial in the enhancement of learner success. Parents who played little or no role in their children's homework and study programmes contributed to the poor performance of their children in the classroom. Also, the extremely limited success thus far in the implementation of OBE in historically black communities was significantly due to the absence of co-operation between the school and the home. This study affirms the view that community input is crucial in the development of curriculum in schools. Without proactive black community involvement, HDSS are less likely to succeed in their efforts to improve education.

South African Journal of Education Vol.24(4) 2004: 301-307



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