Educational policy in South Africa: from opposition to governing and implementation

28 Sep 2016

The articles in the International Journal of Education Development?s Special Edition facilitate critical policy dialogue about educational change in South Africa. Educational change in South Africa is of special interest for many reasons. First, it provides, as Soudien and Gilmour (1999) point out, an analysis of large-scale reform in Africa. Second, it furnishes much needed critical commentary about educational policy change in South Africa during the first fiver years of democratic rule (1994?1999). Finally, the review highlights valuable lessons for countries engaged in similar processes of large-scale educational change. Noting the instructive value of the Special Edition, I wish to, in this response, highlight a few aspects of educational change which complement and further the analysis provided in the various articles. I consider, in particular, the notion of the ?educational policy gap?, different policy phases, and issues the articles raise for debate. I conclude by suggesting the need for ?joined-up? policy analyses in South Africa, more and different voices to be heard in educational policy dialogue.