Building FEDSAS’ strategic goals for 2020 around technology has proven to be prophetic. At the beginning of this year, the organisation set as its aim to be the most important innovator that used available technology to its maximum value for internal and operational requirements, and to serve members and guide members schools with regard to the impact of technology on education.
“When a new education model became an emergency necessity early in 2020, FEDSAS was already well-positioned to provide inputs and to continue with operations virtually,” says Mr Paul Colditz, CEO of FEDSAS. Colditz was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of FEDSAS that took place this weekend (21 November 2020). With initiatives such as the FEDSAS Centre for Technology the organisation has been advocating for digital citizenship in the school environment for the past six years already.
“As early as the end of March, FEDSAS sent a letter to its members to encourage them to focus only on their core business and to do everything in their power to protect key resources,” says Dr Jaco Deacon, Deputy CEO of FEDSAS. Deacon, who presented the integrated annual report to the meeting, says despite the Covid-19 pandemic FEDSAS’ training statistics for 2020 remain a highlight. “FEDSAS could switch to online support to members immediately. A total of 149 national webinars were presented this year. These were attended by nearly 12000 people.”
The FEDSAS legal team has developed 263 documents, legal opinions and other resources this year. “Of these, 196 were Covid-19 related documents that were made available on the FEDSAS website. FEDSAS’ continuous interaction with the national Department of Basic Education is clear from the 48 meetings between the organisation and the Department,” says Deacon.
During the meeting FEDSAS bid farewell to the National Chairperson, Erhard Wolf, who is retiring after 11 years as chairperson. In his farewell message, Wolf said that the pandemic served an important purpose in showing that the Department needs FEDSAS. The organisation’s efficacy as governing body organisation was emphasised by the events of this year as well as FEDSAS’ reaction to these events.
“To say goodbye to someone of the calibre of Erhard Wolf is not easy. For him, FEDSAS was his life, not only his job,” says Colditz.
Dr. Shaun Mellors, current provincial chairperson in Limpopo, was elected as the new National Chairperson, with Jaco van der Merwe of KwaZulu-Natal as new Deputy Chair.