The HEDCOM Subcommittee on Districts hosted a Roundtable to reflect on how to strengthen and position Circuit Managers as the key to transforming educational quality in all schools. The Roundtable was attended by all members of the sub-committee, joined by senior provincial managers responsible for district and circuit co-ordination, as well as Human Relations. A key concern for the HEDCOM Subcommittee was the varying practice in how Circuit Managers were viewed and utilised in the various provinces with some reduced to nothing more than messengers. This variation also reflected in the levels of appointment of Circuit Managers across the country. The Roundtable was also organised to prepare concrete proposals in all matters related to Circuit Managers for the consideration of HEDCOM. These would of course take cognisance of all Collective Agreements in the area as well as the Amended Policy on the Organisation, Roles and Responsibilities of Education Districts (January 2018).
In her opening address the Deputy Director-General for Planning and Delivery Oversight, Mrs Palesa Tyobeka said, “Circuit Managers are at the coalface of basic education delivery and it is through them that we can truly transform education. Regretfully it is this level of management that has been largely neglected and has not enjoyed the level of support they need to take their rightful place as leaders in education.
“The aim of today’s Roundtable is to place Circuit Managers under the microscope; to collectively craft and agree on their core responsibilities, the quality of men and women to be recruited into these positions, the knowledge and skills required – and together agree on a capability building programme that all Circuit Managers should undergo to acquire these skills sets.
The Roundtable was anchored on emerging best practice and initiatives from around the country, notably KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo Provinces. After very robust and exciting discussions a five-person Task Team was appointed.
In concluding the Roundtable, the participants agreed on the establishment of a small high-level Task Team that will prepare a discussion document to be considered by HEDCOM at their December workshop.