The Technical Schools Turnaround Project was initiated at a technical high school in Johannesburg in 2012 to address the decline in learner achievement at the upper secondary level. The goal of this project is to turn around dysfunctional and under-performing schools by linking learners' performance to their aspirations, rather than to the extremely low pass level of 30-40% in South Africa. This innovation involves an holistic strategy that covers the entire organizational system, both inside and outside schools. Two of the school quality systems that fall within the framework of this organizational development system are:
- The School Target Setting System: The Technical Schools Turnaround Project helps tabulate promotional schedules based on current school grades and test results and targeted school grades and test results. Implementation of these promotional schedules allows the school to ensure planning for 100% passes in the school, with each individual member in the school, including learners, teachers, and school leaders, having a personal target to work towards, which is 5% above the current achievement level.
- The Learner Expectation and Achievement Agreement: Targets are constructed by the learners for themselves, in relation to their own aspirations. These targets are only allowed to be equal or above the school targets.
All paper-based processes are migrated onto electronic platforms, and teachers, senior management teams and school leadership are empowered by means of support, analysis, development and design to ensure that the turnaround process is implemented successfully, that focus on the success of learners and not just the compliance to minimum requirements is maintained, and that the system will be sustainable beyond the project years.
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CEI approaches in action
The organizational development systems have been designed for under-resourced, disadvantaged schools and have been put in place free of charge.
In 2012, the Technical Schools Turnaround Project was piloted and 100 upper secondary learners benefited from the Learner Expectation and Achievement Agreement. In 2013, more than 750 lower secondary and upper secondary learners are benefiting from the Learner Expectation and Achievement Agreement and the School Target Setting System.
The school quality systems that fall within the framework of the organizational development systems have been shared in 12 schools in the Zonkizizwe circuit in Gauteng and in schools in the Grassy Park area in Cape Town.
Monitoring & Evaluation
This project monitors its results through agreed outcome and impact deliverables.