The implementation of an integrated quality management system in Queenstown district schools: experiences from the Isibane circuit.

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University of Fort Hare


This study examines the experiences of the school management teams and educators of the Isibane Circuit in the Queenstown District, regarding the implementation of an Integrated Quality Management System (IQMS) policy at school level. Following an agreement reached in 2003 between the South African Education Department and the major teacher organisations in this country, the IQMS was scheduled to be implemented in public schools from 2004. Two major challenges are identified and explained: accountability and development of human resources, as well as contradictions between internal and external evaluations. The study also elaborates on the changes in the educational history from the apartheid system to the democratic system of education. Nine schools participated in the study (two secondary schools and seven primary schools). These schools were purposely selected due to the fact that they had started implementing the IQMS policy, which was the main criterion for selection. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data from principals, Heads of Departments as well as post-level one educators concerning their experiences of the IQMS implementation. The findings indicated that while the IQMS policy was good on paper, it was extremely difficult to implement. Issues of honesty and trust were at the root of difficulties that made the IQMS implementation challenging. The participants‟ understanding of IQMS was that it was intended for the provision of quality education and development.