29/11/2021 - Fedsas
Instead of a solution, South African education often has an excuse for every problem. This is according to Paul Colditz, former CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS). He was the keynote speaker at the FEDSAS Annual General Meeting this weekend in Bloemfontein following his retirement at the end of October after 14 years in the position.
“The first step is to realise that you cannot fix with a plaster something that is fundamentally wrong. We have to identify education leaders and they have to sit down and develop an education blueprint,” says Colditz. His suggestions for such a blueprint include determining how the money gets to the classroom, with a system developed based on this. Far too much money is wasted in a long pipeline that does not add any value. Also required is a core curriculum that is meaningful but flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. “We have to restore the profession of teaching to its position of honour. We have to train educators to be professional and to be proud of their professional status. Unions that refer to educators as ‘workers’ are causing untold damage to the profession.”
Colditz also suggests that the thousands of bureaucrats who do not make a contribution must be removed. “We need large-scale investment in the development of education leaders who can lead schools successfully so that bureaucrats are not required for the system to function. We also have to break the strangle-hold of unions on education. Unions have a role to play but the strangle-hold is choking the system.”
On his years at FEDSAS Colditz remarked that his dream was always to make FEDSAS the best place to work. “I’m encouraged by the fact that both the staff of FEDSAS as well as our member schools have bought into our ideal of establishing quality education in all public schools.”
Dr Jaco Deacon, the new CEO of FEDSAS, thanked Colditz for his vision, which is enabling FEDSAS to continue with its work. At the AGM, Dr. Shaun Mellors was re-elected as Chairperson of the National Council, while Ms. Hess Radley is the new Deputy Chairperson. “We are looking forward to working with this strong leadership team. FEDSAS can now use its steadfast history as our compass to navigate the exciting future that awaits.”