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Strategies to deal with academic underperformance in grade 12 in the Free State

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dc.contributor.author Leepo, Sello Rubben
dc.contributor.other Welkom: Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-08T09:05:48Z
dc.date.available 2017-06-08T09:05:48Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/1164
dc.description Thesis en_US
dc.description.abstract The aim of this study was to investigate the impact that the intervention strategies had on the academic performance of grade 12 learners in the Free State province. The grade 12 National Senior Certificate (NSC) results had been of poor quality over the years in the Free State province. This prompted the educational leadership at district and provincial level to develop and implement the various improvement strategies. The grade 12 learners in the underperforming schools were taken to camps during the school holidays. The other extra classes were held at the respective schools. The subject advisors were also involved in teaching at some of the centres. The performance targets were imposed on the schools. Different technologies were introduced into the classroom – HeyMath, ICITISE and the independent broadcasting programme. The districts conducted training on curriculum coverage, instructional leadership, subject content training, curriculum management and performance management. The grade 12 NSC results remained unimpressive despite the numerous intervention strategies implemented by the districts and the provincial department of education. This then led to the investigation on the possible reasons why the strategies did not yield the desired results. As a point of departure this investigation looked into the causes of underperformance in the schools. If there is urgency about improving failing schools, more attention should be channelled on the causes of underperformance as well as the factors that contribute to continuous failure. Identifying schools as underperforming is contingent on a large number of circumstances: poor curriculum coverage, poor classroom management, total disregard for teaching and learning time, lack of teacher discipline and poor work ethics, teacher apathy, high rate of unaccounted absenteeism and inadequate resources – to mention just a few. The empirical research was conducted using both the qualitative and quantitative methods. This was done in order to obtain triangulation. The grade 12 subject teachers completed the questionnaire while the principals of the underperforming schools and the school management and governance developers (circuit managers) were interviewed. The SPSS version 23 was used to analyse the empirical research data. It was established that many intervention strategies were not suitably differentiated. Many of them did not take into account the contextual factors within the underperforming schools. It was further established that the intervention strategies were too many and therefore lacked the necessary focus. One critical finding relates to the fact that the strategies were not designed to enhance the internal skills and capabilities of the teachers in the underperforming schools. The academic results would drop as soon as the intervention strategies were suspended or withdrawn. The teachers lacked the capacity needed to sustain improved levels of performance. The investigation revealed that there were too many execution gaps in the implementation of the intervention strategies. The study found that the strategies had a noticeable but not a lasting or sustainable impact on the overall pass rate, but they had no noticeable impact on the bachelors’ pass rate. The integrated learner attainment model proposed in this study focuses on bridging the execution gaps and on implementing the intervention strategies in an organised and well structured manner. The model proposes the involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the implementation process. There must be a well understood evaluation system that would be used to determine the impact of each strategy at regular intervals. Communication of the strategies must be improved in such a way that the circuit managers who are expected to monitor their effective implementation are on board at all times. The provincial department of education needs to invest in few strategies that are deemed as the most effective. The school management teams and the district officials must all be appraised on the salient features of the selected intervention strategies. The strategies must not be unreasonably imposed on the schools. The correct diagnosis of the problem must dictate the type of strategy to be implemented. The integrated learner attainment model proposes a systematic approach to the implementation of the intervention strategies. en_US
dc.format.mimetype Application/PDF
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Welkom: Central University of Technology, Free State
dc.subject School improvement programs - South Africa - Free State en_US
dc.subject Education, Secondary - South Africa - Free State en_US
dc.subject Academic achievement en_US
dc.subject Low-performing schools en_US
dc.subject School failure en_US
dc.subject School management and organization en_US
dc.title Strategies to deal with academic underperformance in grade 12 in the Free State en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Central University of Technology, Free State

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