Making Schools Effective: 21st Century School Leaders' Agenda

Making Schools Effective: 21st Century School Leaders' Agenda

Reginah Ndlovu
Copyright: © 2024 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3940-8.ch002
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The 21st century dispensation has brought a lot of challenges in developing countries such as Zimbabwe that have resulted in schools becoming ineffective. The study was prompted by the need for schools to prepare students to meet the demands of an emerging digital world. The change management theory was used with the aim to inform the changes which are taking place in 21st century schools. The corpus of the study has been published works for the years 2011 to 2014. The Nziramasanga Commission, which informs the basis of Zimbabwean education, was also studied.
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Background And Rationale Of The Study

This section gives the background of the study.

Article 26 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights recognises the right to education. Just because many countries are a signatory to the United Nations, this makes education compulsory in some countries. Subsequently UNESCO draws from this right to come up with four pillars of education on which education should be hinged. These are learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be. (Oloniram, 2016). All these pillars are important in the 21st century learning as they make the student understand the world better and turn him into a responsible human being. Consequently Zimbabwe crafted its own education Act from these pillars. In order to understand the reforms which took place in Zimbabwean education there is need to understand its development from the colonial period. This is because some of the problems the system is facing now were inherited from the colonial era.

Zimbabwe has invested so much on education with the literacy rate reaching 91,4% (UNESCO, 2009). Between 1992 and 1999 the literacy rates of those who were between 15 and 24 years only went up to 98%.This came about as a result of the policy of Education For All which the government introduced soon after the country gained its Independence in 1980.(UNESCO,2009)This was meant to redress the inequalities which existed in colonial education where the British colonisers education system denied the Blacks opportunities to participate in education which was meant to make them economically sound. Foreign education had a hegemonic effect on the education system and was meant to dehumanise Africans. Local knowledge was devalued and deemed inferior. The education system either prepared indigenous Africans to take control of their social, cultural and economic lives but did more than corrupt their thinking and sensibilities as Africans.(Shizha, 2005). For nearly a century when Zimbabwe was under colonial rule the majority of indigenous people had no say or influence on government policies and political decisions that affected the education system. (Zvobgo, 1996). This saw a dramatic increase in the number of learners enrolled in the education sector because primary education was declared free. As a result of this acceleration the government was faced with a situation whereby the demand for the construction of more schools, provision of books as well as the training of teachers rose rapidly. The rationale behind the Education For All policy was to tackle the quantity first which was later going to be followed by quality. Commenting on the access to education in Zimbabwe, the Transitional National Development Plan (1983,p.27) highlights that,

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