The Minister of Basic Education’s report on so-called “cash for posts” incidents presents a dark picture of corruption and irregularities regarding the appointment of teachers. This report was published last week.
“The Minister has to be commended on her efforts to expose and eradicate corruption in education. In this regard she has the full support of FEDSAS,” says Mr Paul Colditz, CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS). FEDSAS was one of the governing body organisations invited by the Minister to discuss a summary of the report. Colditz says the organisations agreed that changes to legislation and the restriction of school governing bodies’ functions are not solutions.
“In this regard the task team as failed in the sense that governing bodies do not appoint teachers. A school’s governing body can merely make recommendations regarding appointments. The authority to make appointments rests with the education departments. This finding therefore points fingers to education officials,” says Colditz. To take governing bodies out of the appointment process will not solve the problem and will alienate school communities.
Colditz says the report’s finding that governing bodies do not have the necessary expertise is also an indictment against the education department. “According to article 19 of the Schools’ Act, the education department has a duty to train governing bodies. In most cases there is no training. Where there is some form of training it is usually inadequate.”
National regulations provide for governing body organisations to provide training to governing bodies. FEDSAS, an internationally recognised expert in the field of school governance, has made offers to all nine provinces to be involved in training. None of the provinces has made use of the offer and only two, Gauteng and the Western Cape, acknowledged the offer. “Properly equipped governing bodies is the starting point for eradicating this and other forms of corruption,” says Colditz
FEDSAS’ commitment towards establishing quality education rests on properly equipped and informed school governing bodies. “We will work with the Minister and other role-players to re-establish the integrity of the school system as this is the only way to ensure the future of our children,” says Colditz.