[lg policy] South Africa: School governors sought

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 2 15:40:54 UTC 2012

School governors sought

KATHARINE CHILD | 02 March, 2012 00:37

Parents have been urged to take part in the school governing body
elections that kicked off yesterday and will run for the rest of
After national, provincial and local elections, they were the
next-largest election in the country, said Governing Body Foundation
CEO Tim Gordon. The school elections take place every three years.
Governors Alliance secretary Kathy Callaghan said the governing bodies
must be chosen wisely because they ran the finances of schools.

The governing bodies decide on school fees, after consultation with
parents, and on the language, religion and admissions policies. They
adopt a school code of conduct and constitution. Equal Education
spokesman Yoliswa Dwane said the South African Schools Act gave
governing bodies a lot of power. This could be problematic.
Previously, white schools could make speaking Afrikaans a language or
admissions policy to restrict the numbers of black pupils .

"Language policies must not be chosen in a way to discriminate
learners' entry into the school." Dwane said she was concerned that
parents from former black schools did not participate enough in their
children's schooling. But Gordon said many people from townships were
"politically conscious and involved", while parents of functioning
former Model C schools often did not get involved or vote when things
were working.

Leader of the DA Helen Zille said it should be of "profound concern"
that an estimated 80% of school governing bodies in the country were
considered dysfunctional by the two major governing body associations.
"It is critical that . the upcoming elections result in competent and
committed people being elected to [bodies], with the capacity to
select quality teachers and to manage schools' finances."


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