With thousands of school governing body members to be elected soon and given the challenges facing education in South Africa, it is imperative that SGB members understand their role and function. The SGB election, that takes place every three years, is set to get underway in March. It is the third largest democratic election in the country.
As part of its SGB information campaign, the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS) introduced a guide for school governing bodies this week. A practical guide to school governance is available in six languages.
“With one or two exceptions, this type of information is usually only available in English. However, for FEDSAS it is vitally important that all SGB members understand exactly what their role and function is. This is why the guide was translated into some of South Africa’s biggest official languages,” says Dr Jaco Deacon, Deputy CEO of FEDSAS.
“Although South Africa has a system of public schools that belong to the immediate school community, there is often little support, especially from government, for governing bodies. That is why it was so important to make the guide as accessible as possible. The content had to be practical and useful and had to reach to widest possible audience.
“The book also forms the foundation of the SGB training that FEDSAS will be presenting country-wide after the SGB election. Not only will it contribute towards better school governance, but the availability of the book in six languages also unlocks the information for communities who did not have access previously.”
The guide provides a short overview of the key aspects of school governance and is the ideal starting point for newly-elected SGB members and even experienced members who want to expand their knowledge.
FEDSAS’ extensive information campaign around the SGB election also includes the development of two websites where parents and other role-players can access information about the election and the role of governing bodies. The websites are www.schoolelections.co.za and www.lovemyschool.co.za
Deacon says the theme “I love my child, I love my school, I love my country” forms part of the campaign. “The practical guide and other FEDSAS projects are connected to our love for the country, its people and its languages. When each community is deeply involved with their school then all schools will be good schools,” says Deacon.