Improving Free State matriculation results : a total quality management approach
Magadla, Andiswa Antonette
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The aim of the study was to establish the possible causes of poor Grade 12 results in physical science in South Africa and to apply a total quality management (TQM) approach to suggest a solution. The literature study indicates that resources, preparation or subject knowledge, commitment and support affect the quality of performance. The research was done in one school district (cluster). Following the literature study a questionnaire was distributed to 150 science teachers from 31 schools and the response rate was 73% (113 responses). The questionnaire tested the respondents' perception on the availability of resources and the support received by them, the support given to learners and their level of preparation and subject knowledge. From this, as well as from the biographical information from the questionnaire, certain conclusions were made about the reasons for poor performance of learners in science examinations. It could be concluded from the analysis of the results that limited support to teachers and support to learners are important factors contributing to a poor Grade 12 pass rate. The pass rate also correlates positively with experience levels of teachers. Although 39% of teachers are unqualified or under-qualified, no significant correlation could be found between pass rate and level of qualification. Analysis of the effect of commitment on pass rate was inconclusive.