AbstractQuality education often eludes South African learners from poverty- stricken environments. There are, however, some notable exceptions. This article looks at how quality education based on social capital is provided to the poor. The author reports on a qualitative investigation based on both focus group and individual interviews conducted at a resource-poor KwaZulu- Natal school serving learners from Grade R to 9. The findings show that quality education at the research site relates to the moral agency of the school principal and teaching staff. Through their ethics of being and doing, the school principal and teaching staff ensure that sufficient resources, sound home-school relations, and a high premium on moral values result in a receptive learner corps. This environment encourages these learners to act with diligence, honesty, politeness, respect and service to the community. The findings contribute to research that maintains that quality education is indicative of the school principal and teachers‟ ethics of being and of doing.
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