Minister Motshekga launches SGB Election Campaign to enhance effective school governance and leadership

Minister Angie Motshekga has urged Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) to prepare for the upcoming School Governing Body (SGB) Elections taking place across all South African education districts from 1–31 March 2024. According to the DBE’s Chief Directorate for Planning and Implementation Support, the term of office for the current SGB members will come to an end in March 2024. Minister Motshekga shared the overall state of system readiness in terms of the SGB elections during the launch of the campaign at the GCIS in Pretoria on 12 February 2024. By law, the DBE is required to conduct SGB elections every three years. The SGB elections are regarded as one of the critical processes of the education sector, with the potential to turn schools into centres of excellence.

Speaking during the launch, Minister Motshekga highlighted that schools with active SGBs excel across various metrics, including academic performance, learner well-being, and community engagement. “The correlation between engaged SGBs and school success is undeniable. Schools with high SGB participation report an average 20% higher pass rate than those with lower engagement. Additionally, incidents of vandalism and truancy decrease significantly in schools with active governing bodies. These are not just numbers; they are compelling evidence of the power of active participation. Our vision is for every school to harness this potential, translating active governance into tangible outcomes for our children. Therefore, our campaign, “Empower, Engage, Educate”, aims to catalyse a shift. With a multifaceted strategy leveraging both digital and traditional media, we intend to reach every corner of our society. From rural townships to bustling urban centres, our message is clear: your voice shapes the future”.

Minister Motshekga is convinced that the campaign will provide comprehensive resources on the roles and significance of SGBs, the election process, and how every individual can contribute. “Workshops, informational pamphlets, and an interactive website will serve as conduits for this essential knowledge. Transparency and inclusivity are key guiding principles to ensure that every voice is heard. The DBE stands firmly committed to conducting these elections with unwavering integrity. We invite all eligible stakeholders such as parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, high school learners and community members, to participate and have their say. Your voice matters. The future of basic education is not a distant horizon; it's being built through these elections. The SGBs can influence policies and decisions that will guide our educational landscape for years to come. We must choose a path towards excellence, equipping our children with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a dynamic world. Thus, strengthening partnerships is the fuel that ignites progress. SGBs serve as a vital link, fostering understanding and collaboration between schools and the communities they serve,” elaborated Minister Motshekga. In her conclusive remarks, Minister highlighted: “Throughout this month, the Department of Basic Education will be sharing detailed information on the electoral process, nomination procedures, and critical dates. We are committed to ensuring these elections are a model of democracy and accountability”.

Addressing the media during the launch, Mr James Ndlebe, Chief Director for Planning and Implementation Support, said that the role of members of SGBs is to sustain school governance and leadership. “Through this structure, we expect schools to be effectively managed, with improved learning outcomes. We therefore urge members of the schooling community to elect suitable candidates who are willing to invest the required energy and time in turning the schooling system around.  Please use your vote as a valuable tool to transform the landscape of the South African Education Sector for the better”.

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