“Although it takes a community to raise a child, parents must play their part in supporting schools with the education of their children. The 2018 School Governing Body (SGB) Elections will be taking place during March under the theme: Changing the Education Landscape. During February 2018, Departmental officials, accompanied by officials from the Provincial Education Departments (PEDs), will be visiting the various provinces and schools, to ensure the state of readiness for the March elections,” said Mr James Ndlebe, Director for the Education Management and Governance Development.
There are over 24,000 public schools in South Africa with every school having a SGB that is democratically elected. By participating in the SGB elections, every parent has the opportunity to be part of Government’s drive to improve learning outcomes and reach the goal of quality education in all our schools. SGBs have a key role to play around developing policies relating to issues such as learner admission, language of instruction at the school, religious instruction, school fees and a code of conduct for learners.
A school’s SGB is made up of mainly parents, educators, non-teaching staff, learners (at Grade 8 and higher) and community members. The term of office is one year for learners and no more than three years for all other members. In addition, the school principal is a member of the SGB by virtue of her or his official capacity. An SGB must elect office-bearers, including a Chairperson, Treasurer and a Secretary. These appointments must be made at a first meeting to be held within 14 days of the election of the SGB. Only a parent member may serve as Chairperson of the SGB, except for special schools.
The SGB may co-opt members with expertise in areas that may benefit the SGB and the school. Any member of the community who can offer particular skills, creativity, a passion and commitment to quality education, may be co-opted. The SGB may need someone with fund raising, marketing or computer skills or even an ex-pupil who is now a successful business person in the community. It is important to note that co-opted members have no voting rights but can make an enormous contribution to their local school.
Many parents and members of the community are reluctant to make themselves available for nomination because they think that because they have full-time jobs they will not have the time. In fact, once elected, the members of the SGB can arrange for meetings to be held at a time that is convenient to both working and non-working parents. “Make sure that your voice is heard and that you play an active part in your child’s education, either by offering to stand for the elections as a possible SGB member or by nominating the best candidates for the SGB elections and making sure that you vote on SGB election day. As a member of the community who is passionate about education and South Africa’s future, make sure your voice is heard,” Mr Ndlebe advised all parents ahead of the SGB elections.
Contact the DBE at 0800 202 933 if you have any queries around SGBs and their responsibilities.
Click on the below link to view the SGB booklet: