Corruption and trust in South African Education: Perceptions of teachers and school boards

Baxter, Jacqueline and Ehren, Melanie (2019). Corruption and trust in South African Education: Perceptions of teachers and school boards. In: BSA Annual Conference 2019 - Challenging Social Hierarchies and Inequalities, 24-26 Apr 2019, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK.

URL: https://www.britsoc.co.uk/media/24958/ac2019_all_a...

Abstract

South Africa’s history of oppression and apartheid has led to great inequalities, and educational outcomes are generally poor. Corruption has been identified as one of the reasons for systemic failure to improve. This paper supports the idea of corruption as a cultural construct, ‘its whole drama revealed in light of the existential insecurity which people feel towards it’ (Taussig, 1992: ,p.4).Using documentary analysis of a key report on corruption in education, along with focus group data, the paper examines normative perceptions of corruption and how they undermine trust in educational processes & practices, asking: a) Which factors colour normative perceptions of corruption in education b) To what extent do these perceptions undermine trust in the education system. The paper concludes that educator corruption perceptions are powerful in undermining educators’ sense of agency and self-efficacy and that distrust affects the way in which the education system operates.

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