Cluster centre principals' perceptions of the implementation of the school cluster system in Namibia
Abstract (Summary)The School Clustering System (SCS) was introduced five years after Namibia’s independence in 1990. The rationale for its implementation was to improve the quality of education in Namibian schools by enabling the sharing of resources, experience and expertise among clusters and facilitating school administration by pooling resources from several schools to be shared equally. It was piloted in Rundu and then gradually expanded to the whole country. The cluster system groups 5-7 schools that are eographically close and accessible to each other in one cluster under the leadership of one of the principals known as a Cluster Centre Principal (CCP). The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of CCPs of the implementation of the SCS in two clusters of a particular circuit in the Omusati region. It is a case study involving two CCPs, one serving Inspector of Education (IE), a former Inspector of Education, several teachers, principals and parents. Data were collected through interviews, document analysis, and focus group discussions. The study found that the practice of cluster leaders is informed by contemporary leadership and management thinking. The participatory approach employed in clusterbased committees enables site-based management and collaboration. This has led to organisational learning. It was also found that a number of challenges are hampering the implementation of the SCS. These include lack of system support and inadequate resources. However, the human potential coupled with a high degree of readiness exhibited by cluster members are seen as potential drivers of further development of the system. The study recommends the adoption of a national policy that formalises the SCS as well as the strengthening of system support to build cluster capacity. It also makes suggestions for further research in organisational culture and behaviour with the aim of developing leadership and management practices in the SCS.
School Location:South Africa
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2008