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The Education Governance Programme was premised on dealing with a central problem in South Africa’s basic education system: how education institutions, their internal dynamics and processes affect education outcomes in the country. Thus the programme focused specifically on education governance as a key constraint in the sustainable, effective and equitable provision of basic education in South Africa.

As such, the Education Governance Programme sought to provide an institutional and governance lens of the basic education system in South Africa,  that demonstrated the effects of the historical legacies, institutional dynamics and practices within the education system that led to uneven and skewed outcomes in the system. This lens relied on empirical research of the challenges in education institutions such as provincial education departments (PEDs), school governing bodies (SGBs) and teachers’ unions, thereby providing a practical understanding of why education is not meeting the system’s demands and expectations and how to confront this reality.

The Education Governance Programme aimed to shift the debates on education governance from pedagogy and policy failures, to an examination of the intricacies of education governance which would be fit for both academic and practical application. This programme began closing out in June 2021.

EducationPublicationsWorking Papers
October 31, 2021

WP | The Role of School Governing Bodies

A working paper by Noma Pakade and Thokozani Chilenga-Butao School governing bodies (SGBs) are the nerve centres of schools in South Africa. Their main purpose is to create and maintain…
April 8, 2021

Watch | Trust, Accountability and Capacity in Education System Reform

In the short video clip below, Melanie Ehren and Jacqueline Baxter interview Noma Pakade and Thokozani Chilenga-Butao, authors of chapter 12 from the book Trust Accountability and Capacity in Education…
February 19, 2021

Chapter | National Standardized Assessments in South Africa: Policy and Power Play

A timely contribution to the debate on educational governance and equality, the World Yearbook of Education 2020 documents the significant changes that have occurred in the last 20 years reflecting…
February 15, 2021

Webinar | Back to School

PARI's Education Governance programme held a webinar on 11 February titled Back to School: Challenges to teaching and learning while managing a pandemic. Programme leads Noma Pakade and Thokozani Chilenga-Butao…
February 15, 2021

Parents, teachers and learners anxious about reopening schools

by Zukiswa Pikoli A Public Affairs Research Institute webinar on institutional coordination of the return to schools agreed that parents’ participation in their children’s education would improve with better access…
EducationPublicationsWorking Papers
December 9, 2020

Working Paper | Exploring Institutional Coordination of the Return to Schools

Abstract South Africa’s basic education system, like many across the globe, has been impacted by the deadly Covid-19. Between March and August 2020, many public ordinary schools remained shut due…
EducationOp EdPublicationsSchool Governance
September 21, 2020

White Elephant Schools Reveal Lack of Progress

by Thokozani Chilenga-Butao The media has reported on a public school in Midrand, worth R82 million and brand new, which has not opened for the past three years because the school…
November 27, 2019

Schools Rationalisation in the Eastern Cape – A case study

This case study was written by the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI), which is affiliated to the University of the Witwatersrand. PARI played a knowledge management role on the project;…
EducationFeaturedJournal ArticlesPublications
April 29, 2019

Article | State “Infrastructural Power” and the Bantustans: The Case of School Education in the Transkei and Ciskei

By Sarah Meny-Gibert   In this article I explore the authority of the state (and its “infrastructural power”) in school education in the Eastern Cape bantustans during and after “homeland”…
November 21, 2018

Seminar | The Politics and Governance of Basic Education with Brian Levy

Brian Levy is the lead editor and co-author of The Politics and Governance of Basic Education: The tale of two South African Provinces. Brian Levy gave a seminar at PARI…
December 25, 2015

Reflections on a GTAC project to improve supply chain management in a provincial education department

A case study report by the Public Affairs Research Institute (University of the Witwatersrand) for the Government Technical Advisory Centre, National Treasury
July 14, 2012

Marking time: inefficiencies in the schooling system and possible responses

It is not new to note that South Africa has an inefficient schooling system. The adjective ‘inefficient’ has most commonly be used to refer to the cost of education provision…