The Politics and Governance of Basic Education: A Tale of Two South African Provinces

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Brian Levy, Robert Cameron, Ursula Hoadley, Vinothan Naidoo
Oxford University Press, Aug 24, 2018 - Business & Economics - 344 pages
This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. All over the world, economic inclusion has risen to the top of the development discourse. A well-performing education system is central to achieving inclusive development - but the challenge of improving educational outcomes has proven to be unexpectedly difficult. Access to education has increased, but quality remains low, with weaknesses in governance comprising an important part of the explanation. The Politics and Governance of Basic Education explores the balance between hierarchical and horizontal institutional arrangements for the public provision of basic education. Using the vivid example of South Africa, a country that had ambitious goals at the outset of its transition from apartheid to democracy, it explores how the interaction of politics and institutions affects educational outcomes. By examining lessons learned from how South Africa failed to achieve many of its goals, it constructs an innovative alternative strategy for making process, combining practical steps to achieve incremental gains to re-orient the system towards learning.

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About the author (2018)

Brian Levy is Professor of the Practice of International Development, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC and Academic Director, Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice, University of Cape Town. He worked at the World Bank from 1989 to 2012. His books include Working with the Grain: Integrating Governance and Growth in Development Strategies (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Building State Capacity in Africa (World Bank Institute, 2004). Robert Cameron is Professor of Public Administration in the Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town. He has published around ninety journal articles and book chapters on local government, public administration and public service reform. He is a Senior Fellow at the Global Cities Institute, University of Toronto, and was a member of the South African Municipal Demarcation Board (1999-2004) which demarcated non-racial local government boundaries for the democratic South Africa. Ursula Hoadley is Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Cape Town. Her extensive published research explores the relation between education and social stratification and the differential social and academic outcomes engendered through educational processes, with a focus on pedagogy, curriculum, and school organization at the primary level, Ursula participates in multiple professional education associations, and boards, including South Africa's Ministerial Review Committee of 2009 which led to the revision of the outcomes-based national curriculum. She is the author of Pedagogy in poverty: 20 years of curriculum reform in South Africa (Routledge, 2017). Vinothan Naidoo is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town. His research spans institutional transformation and public sector reform, policy co-ordination and implementation, political-administrative relations, and inter-governmental relations. Recent publications have dealt with critical appraisals of public management reform in South Africa, and a historical appraisal of efforts to co-ordinate grand economic policies in South Africa. He completed a Ph.D in Public Administration at the University of Cape Town.