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Mevlana International Journal of Education

Yıl 2011 , Cilt 1 , Sayı 1

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School choice – as if learners matter: black african learners’ views on choosing schools in south africa

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Further Teacher Education, University of South Africa1
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School choice in South Africa has accorded the majority of middle class black African parents an exit option away from many historically black African schools. This has been one of education's major developments in post-Apartheid South Africa. Dissatisfied with underperforming historically black African schools in the townships, these parents choose what they regard to be effective schools, mostly situated outside the townships. The paradox and disadvantage of the flight from the township schools though, is that many of these schools are left with dwindling quality. Yet the majority of black African working class children with few or no choices are still trapped in many underperforming township schools. This study focused on the rights of children in choosing schools. Frequently, when it comes to school choice, it is parents' views of good schools that matter in the debate. This study though, investigated whether the children do have a sense of what effective schools are. One of the major findings in the study was that although they might have less social and cultural capital, working class children attending dysfunctional and underperforming schools have an idea of what the ideal should be. Learners are not passive in their schooling; they have their own expectations and "know" what constitutes "good" schools.

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