The Rationalisation of Teachers and the Quest for Social Justice in Education in an Age of Fiscal Austerity
This chapter argues that educational reform in South Africa is situated within a policy frame that privileges cost reduction and fiscal austerity measures linked to a voluntarily imposed structural adjustment policy. Equity and redress have been identified as the operational building blocks for the realisation of social justice in education. The rationalisation policy has approximated standard structural adjustment policy packages concerned with the reduction of public expenditure. A chronological account of the rationalisation process will assist in understanding the many factors which impacted on the policy. The rationalisation policy found expression in agreements reached at the Education Labour Relations Council, a statutory body comprised of national and provincial education departments as well as the major teacher unions. The instrumentalist and economic rationalist thinking of the Ministry of Finance seems to have dominated the rationalisation process. Interviews focused on the impact of rationalisation on these schools.