Paper Title
The Dynamics of a School’s Performance in a Rural Ecology of South Africa: A Case of School Governing Bodies

The success and failure of education – especially in the school context – lies entirely in its governance. Having poorly trained and illiterate SGBs has a strong influence in schools’ productivity. However, rural schools are experiencing poor performance, which is attributed to poor governance. This study examined the challenges of various school governing bodies and sought solutions to those challenges in order to improve the performance of schools in a rural ecology. The study was conducted in the Thabo-Mofutsanyane district of the Free State. Emancipation theory was used as the theoretical framework for the study. This study adopted a qualitative research approach. The participant comprises all SGBs in the selected school of the Thabo-Mofutsanyane district in Bethlehem in the Free State. The principal, the chairperson and the deputy chairperson of the SGB, the secretary and the deputy chairperson and the treasurer were used as participants, totaling six participants. Unstructured interviews were used as the method of data collection and the data collected were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. The study showed that poor performance of the schools is significant to the poor training of SGBs, levels of illiteracy and financial struggle. It was recommended that there must be minimum educational requirements that must be made for people to qualify as members and the development of proper courses to empower the SGBs alongside adequate funding. Keywords - Governance, School governing bodies, Performance, Rural ecology.