An investigation into the problems experienced by parents in democratising school governing bodies in the Trenance Park Region of the Verulam area
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This study focussed on the problems experienced by parents in the democratisation process of school governing bodies in the Trenance Park area. The desegregation of public schools has led to increased enrolment of African learners at the three schools in the Trenance Park area. School governing bodies, consisting of only Indian parent governors at these schools, have continued to function as they did in the past. Parent governors are incapable of handling culturally diverse issues and they also lack the expertise to manage school finances to accommodate the needs of all learners. The researcher explored possible reasons for the lack of African parental involvement. The absence of African parents on school governing bodies adversely affects schools when resolving issues of a cultural or racial nature. In fact the increase of racial incidents at schools has created a tense situation for both learners and educators. A literature survey of governance structures exposed the need for a training programme for governors. Previous governance structures had advisory powers but the Department of Education was responsible for a large majority of their functions. The South African Schools Act of 1996 accorded school governing bodies duties and functions for which they were not trained. Moreover the lack of a training programme created confusion amongst governors and the principal relating to their respective role functions. III Research for this dissertation was conducted by means of structured interviews directed at the chairperson of governing bodies and school principals in the Trenance Park area.