Governing body backbone of school; go vote – dept

Henry

The governing body is the “backbone of a school”, and therefore the department of basic education encourages all relevant role players to take part in schools’ governing body elections this month.

The SBL elections take place nationwide in March this year. More than 250,000 SBL members are to be elected from the country’s 22,511 public schools.

“We invite all suitable role players – parents, teachers, school staff, high school students and the community members to participate and have their say,” Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said on Tuesday.

“By law, school governing bodies are the backbone of school communities. They ensure that our schools are not simply educational institutions, but beacons of hope, character and community spirit. Their impact is profound and far-reaching, with responsibilities that include financial management, policy formulation and staff appointments.”

According to Motshekga, research shows that schools with involved governing bodies perform at various levels. This includes academic achievement, the well-being of learners and community involvement.

“The connection between the governing bodies involved and the success of a school is undeniable. Schools with high SBL participation have an average pass rate of 20% higher than those with lower SBL involvement.

“In addition, incidents of vandalism and truancy decrease significantly in schools with active governing bodies. These are not just statistics either, but compelling evidence of the power of active participation.”

Motshekga further says that SBL elections carry enormous weight. In addition to representing democracy, it also provides an opportunity for parents, educators and community members to join hands and contribute to the improvement of schools.

In light of this, the education department is committed to a governing body election with “unwavering integrity”, according to Motshekga.

She believes that decisions made now can be decisive in the future educational landscape in South Africa.

“The call to action today is simple but powerful: Get involved. Whether you put yourself up for election or just make your voice heard, your contribution counts and carries great weight.

“It not only affects the future of our children, but also the formation of our nation.”

The Federation for South African Governing Bodies (Fedsas) encouraged parents to participate in the SBL elections earlier this year.

Fedsas describes this year’s elections as “a make or break for education in South Africa”, especially in light of the controversial Bela legislation – the Basic Education Amendment Bill – which is at an advanced stage.

This legislation contains numerous changes that will strip school communities of their say in how public schools are run.

“The general election later this year will have a major influence on the policy direction for education for at least the next five years,” said Dr. Jaco Deacon, CEO of Fedsas, said earlier.