During the month of March, the entire country was holding School Governing Body (SGB) elections in all schools. These elections take place every three years. There are around 25 000 public schools in South Africa and every school has a School Governing Body that is democratically elected. By participating in the SGB elections, every parent has the chance to be part of Governance in schools to and ensure accountability and proper functioning of schools.
In light of this, EE ran SGB campaigns in different cities. The purpose was to encourage parent to take part in the elections and to educate general members of the community about the importance of the SGB for each school.
This campaign began with EE's parent members, and expanded into communities. We organised hundreds of parents over a few weeks. We facilitated informative workshops and encouraged participation from our parent members and also people who just attended our workshops. We created easy to read pamphlets and sat with parent and answered any questions they may have had.
We managed to have 12 elected in SGB’s in 9 different schools (8 in the Western Cape and 4 in Gauteng). We are in the process of developing a support system for the parents who were elected. This includes follow-up workshops to make sure they stay focused and interested but most importantly empowered to make decisions that will affect the schools positively.
Some of our concerns during the SGB elections were that we realised there was some apathy amongst parents where schools struggled to reach quorum. Getting election dates was a challenge; it was not always clear when schools would have their elections. In some schools elections were postponed and when they were reconvened correct dates were not communicated effectively to parents.
We remain committed to good governance in schools; transparent and committed leadership in schools is what will fix some of the many problems we find in the public schooling system. Without parents' active involvement South Africa will continue to have a two-tiered education system. The fight for quality and equality in our schools requires the full involvement of parents.
For more information contact:
Luzuko Sidimba (EE Head of Community Department)
071 924 0956
Nombulelo Nyathela (EE Spokesperson)
060 503 4933