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Ubuntu and school leadership : voices of the teachers in Hammarsdale Circuit.

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The purpose of this study was to explore how, according to the teachers, the school leaders apply Ubuntu principles and values such as compassion, kindness, altruism, respect, and collaboration in their running of the schools. It further sought to explore from the experiences of the teachers in the application of the philosophy of Ubuntu in school leadership in the Hammarsdale circuit and whether school leaders were demonstrating Ubuntu principles and values in their running of the schools. The literature is divided into Ubuntu philosophy and school leadership. It further covers the application of Ubuntu principles and values in schools. The study used Ubuntu leadership theory and Transformative theory. The study is located in the interpretive paradigm and is a qualitative study within a case study design: Two Secondary schools and one Primary school, from Hammarsdale Circuit in Pinetown District were conveniently sampled because of being easily accessible. Three principals and six post level 1 teachers served as participants. The findings of this research pointed to principals and teachers showing a fair understanding of Ubuntu philosophy and school leadership however, the elephant in the room was in its implementation. Another finding to emerge was that participants had minimal understanding of Batho Pele principles which arc part and parcel of the Ubuntu philosophy and have long been advocated by the Department of Education. The challenges that participants mentioned were the lack of interest from teachers to participate in managerial duties and lack of proper consultation between the staff and school leaders. One of the recommendations proposed in this study is that school leaders familiarise themselves with Ubuntu/Batho Pele principles and values documents to understand that Ubuntu does not clash with other school policies but were meant to enhance and humanise public administration.


Master of Education in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Edgewood 2015.


Batho Pele (Program)