Dynamics of school violence and the role of school leadership in reducing it in two Umlazi Township schools.
This study examined the dynamics of school violence and the role of school leadership in reducing it in two Umlazi township schools. A case study was conducted in two secondary schools in Umlazi township. The aim of the study was to explore how school leaders (School Governing bodies, School Management Teams, educators, learners and parents) help schools to reduce violence. This qualitative study was set in the interpretivist paradigm. The research tools compromised of semi-structured interviews, documents analysis and observations. The two theories which underpinned this study were violent and non-violent theories. A review of international and national literature around school violence revealed that some of the challenges of learner-indiscipline encountered by South African schools were being experienced world-wide. The findings of this research were a revelation to me that violence in schools and in the community has escalated to such an extent that it has become an access problem for some learners in many schools in South Africa (SAIRR, 2008). I had a privilege of experiencing first-hand what secondary school educators, managers and parents encountered and dealt with on a daily basis. It is evident that learner indiscipline is on the increase; educator’s teaching time is being consumed in dealing with discipline issues; educators are becoming frustrated and demoralised; the tribunal hearings are not regarded as an effective structure by educators, learners and parental involvement is lacking as parents seems to have abdicated the responsibility for their children’s behaviour and education to the school management and educators. Further, the SGB play a limited role in the activities of the school due to their incapacity and lack of empowerment. Some of the recommendations based on the findings are that schools must involve all stakeholders in the formation of the Code of Conduct policy. The contents and procedures outlined in the policy must be communicated to all stakeholders and there must be consistency in its application. Stakeholders must formulate innovative strategies to engage parents to actively participate in the activities of the school. The Department of Education must fulfil its obligation to capacitate parents and other stakeholders. An empowered SMT and SGB will make a greater contribution to the elimination of school violence.
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