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SA Education Law Association honours five for lifetime contributions to education

08/09/2021 - Fedsas


Education law experts attend the virtual conference of the South Africa Education Law Association (Saela) over the past couple of days (6-8 September 2021). The association is celebrating its 25th year this year, and as part of the celebrations, five awards for lifetime contributions to the field were made.

“One of the founding members and the first President of Saela, Prof. Johan Beckmann, is one of the people honoured for his contribution,” says Dr Jaco Deacon, current President of Saela. Deacon says Beckmann is an internationally recognised expert in the field of education law and management. “His leading role has also laid the foundation for the establishment and continuation of Saelo, to the extent that Prof. Beckmann, now in his eighties, is still actively involved in education law.”

Another well-known education role-player honoured for his lifetime contribution is Paul Colditz, for many years the CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (FEDSAS). “Paul is probably the leading expert in terms of education law in South Africa, and has made a huge contribution to the Schools’ Act as it stands today.”

Deacon says the internationally recognised scholars, Prof. Rika Joubert and Dr Jean van Rooyen also received lifetime achievement awards. “Not only have they published numerous research articles, but they also manage to apply this academic insight on a practical level so that education at grassroots level can benefit. Both have been involved in organising the conference for many years.”

The fifth award was made to Prof. Charles Russo, an American scholar who is involved in the teaching of education law world-wide. “It is important for Saela to have international ties, and experts such as Prof. Russo’s inputs in terms of Saela and South African education in general have made it possible for us to continually benchmark ourselves against the best international standards.”

Deacon says Saela’s conference this year focused on the fact that education is not only the responsibility of the State. “According to international law parents have the primary responsibility for their children’s education. This implies that parents and other role-players in the community should be actively involved in schools. Cooperation really is the only key to the success. The conference was attended by local and international scholars, legal practitioners, representatives of governing body organisations, labour unions, the SA Councils for Educators, independent schools, principals and senior representatives of the National Department of Basic Education.

The conference was attended by local and international scholars, legal practitioners, representatives of governing body organisations, labour unions, the SA Councils for Educators, independent schools, principals and senior representatives of the National Department of Basic Education.


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