School governing bodies can turn education around

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CATHY DLODLO

Parents and communities should now make use of the opportunity to change education in the country by taking part in the management of the schools attended by their children.

This is according to deputy CEO of Federation of Governing Bodies of South-African Schools (FEDSAS), Dr Jaco Deacon. "There are two different types of schools – public schools and state owned schools. We are in the unique position in South Africa that we have public schools. Quite simply put – the public is in charge of the schools," he explained.

Deacon said with the School Governing Body elections around the corner it is time that parents and school communities take part by either standing as candidates or by voting to take charge of their school. He said with approximately 300 000 representatives to be elected countrywide, it is the single largest democratic process that is taking place this year. He added that the Free State and Northern Cape education departments are amongst only four provincial departments that seem to take the school governing body elections seriously. He said some did not publish the regulations and others have been publishing them so late that it causes confusion. Western Cape and Mpumalanga are the two other provinces that published in time.

Deacon said the education system is under immense pressure and the elections can prove to be the last realistic opportunity to take back the education system. Free State Premier Ace Magashule announced last week during his State of the Province Address that the SGB election in the province is going to take place from 6 to 28 March this year. He urged parents in over 1300 schools in the province to support the elections by standing as candidates or participating as voters. Magashule also pleaded with professionals to volunteer their time and contribute as elected or co-opted SGB members.

cathy@centralmediagroup.co.za