Equity and efficiency in education textbook distribution policy and practice : a case study

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The primary aim of this study is to investigate the Lesotho Education Ministry textbook distribution policy in order to * understand the relationship between equity and efficiency in textbook distribution policy and practice * investigate whether there is differentiation between urban and rural schools in textbook distribution policy and practice. The study examined policy and practice at the level of the Ministry of education as implemented by the School Supply Unit, and at the level of the school. The study took the form of a case study. First, official documents were analysed to develop an account of the textbook provision scheme, its origins, objectives, form and content. Secondly, interviews and a questionnaire provided participants views, attitudes, perspectives, expectations and experiences in relation to the scheme. Finally, an inventory of books and an analysis of order and inventory forms supplied evidence of what books were actually available in the schools. This was sometimes but not always, motivated by the desire to effect equity. On the whole, the outcomes of the textbook distribution scheme were found to be fairly equitable. This can be explained with reference to * the fact that up to a point improved efficiency also brought improved equity * the ad hoc adaptations of policy in practice by officials and school staff and * the efforts of the rural based school parent community to take full advantage of the scheme.

Bibliography: leaves 55-60.