Planning educational reforms in Bophuthatswana : an evaluation
Malope, Lefentse Daphne
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This study is concerned with the bold attempt by the government of the new Republic of Bophuthatswana to reform the entire educational system to be in line with the identified needs and noble aspirations of the new nation. This task began in 1979 based on the recommendations of the National Education Commission report which was tabled in August 1978. Considering the elaborate planning and preparation that must precede any educational change, innovation and reform, the contention is that not much attention and time was given to the planning process per see Most of the recommended changes were implemented immediately, some piece-meal and others in an uncoordinated manner. The study discusses some of the developments within the broad educational spectrum, indicating noteworthy achievements and accompanying problems. Some of the problems can be traced to the lack of clearly articulated reform goals and objectives: the absence of a national planning unit to co-ordinate the envisaged reforms in line with the overall national development plan. This would ensure that educational reforms are not seen in isolation but as part of other overall socio-political and socio-economic developments. The absence of a change agent to manage the change process, to sensitize the communities to the need for change and to get them to participate fully in the reform process, was partly responsible for some of the identified problems. Also the lack of a well-conceived model and strategy for planning educational reforms as well as a built-in mechanism to monitor progress and provide feedback are highlighted. Finally, the study indicates how some aspects of the educational system were remarkably improved inspite of the perceived lack of proper planning. A stable educational system evolved based on the new philosophy of education for Popagano. The formal school system experienced remarkable growth resulting partly from the committed involvement by the communities in providing classroom accommodation and the funding of educational projects where the need arose. The child-centred approach revolutionized teaching in the primary school and its successful implementation will serve as a model for neighbouring countries. The ten-year period under review also saw the upgraded professional training of teachers and the establishment of a uni versi ty for which the communities voluntarily donated cash or in kind and which was a major milestone in the educational development of the country. In conclusion, a model for planned educational reform is proposed as a mechanism that will bring most of the envisaged improvements in the educational system to fruition.
- Education