School fees at public schools in Gauteng: implications for the provision of education.
- Authors: Ismail, Ahmed Essop
- Date: 2008-08-25T10:24:57Z
- Subjects: educational finance , public schools , education and state
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:3785 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/915
- Description: This research focuses on School fees at public schools in Gauteng: implications for the provision of education. The demand for free education is no longer one made by revolutionaries or radicals only. Even the World Bank – key architects of user fees – have come around to this way of thinking, seeing that charging school fees for primary education is bad for development. The subject of school fees has been in the news because of the disruption of schooling by the Pan African Student Organisation in Tskane (Gauteng) and Balfour (Mpumalanga). In Tskane, students demanded a reduction in fees from R300-00, (Secondary Schools) and R120-00 (Primary Schools) to R50-00 and R25-00 respectively. The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) has called for the total scrapping of school fees over the next three years. Cosatu and Sadtu President sang from the same hymn book, “education fees are a tax on the poorest and must be dropped” (The Educators’ Voice, 2002b:2). The Freedom Charter, a beacon of the revolution, was drafted by popular assembly in Kliptown in 1955 by the African National Congress Alliance. Declaring, “the doors of learning and culture shall be opened,” it championed the right to education, which shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all, and adult illiteracy shall be ended by a mass state education plan. (The Educators’ Voice, 2002b:3) The Reconstruction Development Plan document based on the Freedom Charter, which served as the African National Congress-led alliance electoral platform for the 1994 elections, stated that the democratic Government must ensure that all children go to school for at least 10 years. The ten-year compulsory general education cycle should proceed from a pre-school reception year to the present grade nine. The Government must phase in compulsory education as soon as possible. To achieve this objective the Government must rebuild and expand our schools. Classes of 50-80 or more learners are unacceptable. “We must ensure that no class exceeds 40 learners by the end of the decade.” In many developing countries the levying of school fees prevents children access to school. Even in countries where primary education is meant to be free, the cost of buying books and uniforms means that many poor families simply cannot afford to educate their children. The World Bank recently called for the elimination of school fees. Immediate action to increase resources to countries which have education plans and a three to five fold increase of donor funding for primary education is needed (The Educators’ Voice, 2002b:3). A report on school funding and resourcing commissioned by former National Education Minister Professor Kader Asmal, found worrying indications of disregard by Education Department employees of the rights of the poor. The report found that while discrimination against impoverished learners was not widespread, it was common enough to merit intervention. As the “new” South Africa forges ahead with rebuilding and transforming its education system following the end of apartheid in 1994, the levying of school fees has emerged as a highly controversial issue – one that resonates in many developing countries around the world. Such fees are regarded by many South Africans as exacerbating a problem – a plagued national system of education funding that falls short of meeting even the most basic needs of the nation’s historically disadvantaged learners. Most of those learners are black children who make up roughly 90 percent of our learner population (The Educators’ Voice, 2002b:3). However, to many education officials and principals, school fees are a necessary financial tool as the government tries to address the severe education inequities such as crumbling classrooms and insufficient textbooks that are reminders of apartheid’s hateful legacy. The government does not have the money to bring all schools up to standard. A coalition of activist, researchers, educators, and lawyers are now using school fees as a rallying cry for an effort, they hope, will spur more substantive improvements to South Africa’s ailing schools. The goal of the Education Rights Projects is to ensure that all children, especially the nation’s indigent youth, have access to a free basic education (http://www.epnet.com). In addition to school fees, the group plans to address the dearth of proper school buildings and teaching resources, the hardships experienced by rural students, and the sexual harassment of and violence to female students. Katarina Tomanevski, the special rapporteur on the right to education in the United Nations office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that it is possible to eliminate school fees, noting that Uganda and Tanzania abolished them in recent years. The World Bank is strengthening its opposition to school fees because countries that charge fees cannot ensure that poor children still have access to school, said Robert S. Prouty, the bank’s leading education specialist. Daria Roithmayr, an associate professor of law at the University of Illinois, who wrote a paper on school fees, contends that school fees violate the South African Constitution which guarantees the children’s basic right to education. School fees also contradict international law, including the Convention On The Rights Of The Child, an international human rights treaty that requires governments, including South Africa, to make primary education “free” for all (http://www.epnet.com). , Prof. T.C. Bisschoff
- Full Text:
Effective school budgeting for the optimum utilization of physical resources.
- Authors: Choonara, Mohamed Afzel
- Date: 2008-06-24T07:50:16Z
- Subjects: school budgets , school boards , educational finance , school management and organization , school improvement programs
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:9653 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/706
- Description: The Schools Act 84 of 1996 has given governing bodies (SGBs) the responsibility of managing school finances. The Act prescribes that the SGB must prepare a budget annually. A school’s budget is an important financial management tool, which ensures that adequate resources are procured in a cost-effective manner in order to enhance teaching and learning. However, schools are grappling with diminishing financial resources and this factor reduces the school’s capacity to respond to the changing needs of learners. Furthermore, SGBs lack the necessary skills and competence to manage funds. The general aim of this research was to determine whether schools prepare budgets effectively, resulting in the optimum utilization of physical resources which will improve the quality of teaching and learning. A literature study was undertaken relating to effective budgeting for the optimum utilisation of physical resources for effective teaching and learning to take place. It outlined school finances in other countries and the impact that budgets have on effective school management. It also gave a detailed account of the process of budgeting and more importantly it outlined in detail the effect of physical resources on school improvement. A quantitative study was made through a structured questionnaire developed from a literature survey. A discussion of the respondents sampled, their biographical details in the form of graphs and the return-rate of questionnaires were also discussed. The questionnaire was discussed as well as the mean scores of various items. Some pertinent questions relating to effective budgeting was also discussed. Educators regard financial management as an important component of school management. They also regard the optimum utilization of resources as key to effective teaching and learning in the classroom. The data was analysed. The Pearson’s Chi Square value as well as Cramer’s V value was discussed using cross-tabulations. Pertinent questions were analysed using these techniques and possible explanations were given to empirical findings. Taking it from school to school or using cross-tabulation on whether educators are SGB members or not, reveals a similar trend that budgets are being drawn up through very little input from all stakeholders. This is a cause for concern. Few educators agree that the DoE provides schools with the necessary physical resources for teaching. This implies that schools have to provide the necessary resources for effective teaching to take place, which further impacts on the budgetary process. Schools have to levy fees on its learners or embark on fundraising projects to supplement the monies from the state. Finally findings from the literature as well important empirical findings were discussed, together with recommendations. Although some SGB training was provided, it has not been focused and thorough, or it has been done by incompetent trainers. Workshops should be conducted by accountants and financial experts with careful monitoring at each stage. There should be regular feedback and evaluation. SGBs should co-opt financial experts from their communities to assist in this delicate task. The SGB should ensure that they involve all stakeholders when initiating the budget process. In this regard, schools could make use of programme budgeting so that all learning areas are catered for and all educators, parents and the community at large are involved. Effective budgeting will go a long way towards achieving the educational goals of schools by ensuring that all physical resources are utilized optimally. , Prof. R. Mestry
- Full Text:
The impact of non-payment of fees on the school budget in selected Gauteng schools.
- Authors: Pullinger, Maria Johanna
- Date: 2009-01-28T09:38:31Z
- Subjects: school budgets , educational finance , Gauteng ( South Africa )
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:14833 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1957
- Description: M.Ed. , In 1994 a new era based on equality and non-discrimination dawned on South Africa, which spelt radical reform in all spheres of government and society. In Education, the challenge was to provide schooling that is uniform in standard and accessible for all learners - a paradigm shift from that of separation of race groups. This shift to redress past inequalities was done through the mechanism of the South African Schools Act that implemented funding reforms to meet the philosophical ideas of the constitutional age. The mechanics of reform is a recurrent cost subsidy, a subsidy to redress previous inequalities and protection of indigent parents, through the exemption clause. It is the unforeseen ramifications of social stigma on the working of the exemption clause, and a culture of non-payment of fees that impacted heavily on the cash flow of schools leaving them technical insolvent. This research paper focuses on the impact of non-payment of fees on schools. The literature study identified causes for the great inequality between schools and the purpose and effect of the Act. The research is a qualitative, exploratory, and descriptive deconstruction of the factual actuality at issue. This was achieved through individual interviews with the principals of different schools. The factual complex devolves under four categories: - Finances: especially calculation of subsidies and payment thereof, as well as, communication between schools and the provincial departments in this respect. - Budgeting: to cover the liquidity needs of the school, new managerial skills have been acquired by principals coupled with fee collection to maintain liquidity as required by the Act. - Matters pertaining to the Schools Act: arising from the application of the exemption clause in specific and prevalent scenarios and of the limitations of the Act. -Collection of fees: to maintain liquidity.
- Full Text: