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Enhancing school leadership: Meeting the challenges of HIV and AIDS

This paper was presented at the Distance Education and Teacher's Training in Africa (DETA) 2009 Conference, August 2009, Ghana. Over time the role of school leadership in South African schools has become increasingly complex. School leaders, often with very little support or training, are required to respond to and then implement a series of sophisticated education policies. While it has become impossible to ignore the impact of HIV and AIDS on the lives of teachers and learners, school leaders also have to respond to the socio-economic circumstances in their school communities. Research conducted by the South African Institute for Distance Education showed that many school leaders began intuitively to respond to these challenges by creating networks of support for learners around their schools. The research also showed that while the form these networks took unfolded in different ways, many of them resulted in schools implementing learner support programmes around nutrition, aftercare and counselling. While in some schools these initiatives were ad hoc, examples were also found of schools where the approach to implementation and management of these support programmes was more systematic and thus more sustainable. In contrast, this research also showed that while many school leaders were able to respond to learner needs, there was very little evidence to suggest that schools were equally able to respond to the needs of their teachers. Through presenting an analysis of the support strategies, this paper starts to provide an interesting and informative picture of how the landscape of school leadership1 has begun to evolve in some South African schools.

Author:
Maryla Bialobrzeska, Lorraine Marneweck, Ephraim Mhlanga and Paul Mphisa
URL:
URL
Conference:
Distance Education and Teacher Education in Africa DETA Conference 2009
Date:
2009
educational leadership and management    HIV and AIDS    Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)    schools as centres of care and support   

 
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