Braille publication and new book broaden knowledge of school governance, says FEDSAS

27/07/2022 - Fedsas

A braille version of the popular manual for school governing bodies as well as a brand-new book that unlocks the dynamics of a corporate boardroom for governing body members were introduced by FEDSAS recently.


“One of the most important aspects of FEDSAS’ work is to equip governing bodies. This means that we regularly introduce new knowledge to the education sector and make existing knowledge more accessible,” says Dr. Jaco Deacon, CEO of FEDSAS (Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools).


Deacon says the publication Welcome to the board! An introduction to boardroom dynamics was conceptualised from the realisation that many of the principles that apply to a corporate boardroom can also be transferred to a school governing body.


The book is authored by Dr. Riaan Oelofse. Oelofse has more than three decades experience of management and leadership in both the public and private sector. Mrs. Suzaan Mellett, formerly FEDSAS’ research and policy officer who was involved in writing a school manual on the King IV principals, worked with Oelofse to incorporate the school components into the book. References to several FEDSAS documents and policies are included. The book is also available in Afrikaans as Welkom in die raadsaal! ’n Bekendstelling aan raadsaaldinamiek.

“The book fills a gap between FEDSAS’ material on what constitutes a good governing body and practical advice from the boardroom. The book is user-friendly, which enables all governing body members to contribute irrespective of their level of experience,” says Deacon.

The Afrikaans braille version of the publication A practical guide to school governance means that this popular publication is now available in all 11 languages as well as Afrikaans braille. “FEDSAS identified the need because the organisation also has governing bodies from schools for the visually impaired as members,” says Ms. Santie van Tonder, Deputy Provincial Manager of FEDSAS in the Western Cape. Van Tonder says the team at Pioneer Printers, an NPO that provides products to the visually impaired, did exceptional work to complete the publication within weeks. Deacon says FEDSAS is also busy making other FEDSAS material accessible to visually and hearing-impaired people.

“There is so much truth to the expression that knowledge is power,” says Deacon. “Everything that FEDSAS does is in fact a long-term investment in the future of our country. Better equipped governing bodies mean improved school governance, which means our children receive quality education that ensures a better future for them.”

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