Fedsas: Proposed amendments to education laws amounts to ‘school capture’

The Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools (Fedsas) says proposed changes to education laws could see a return to an autocratic model of school governance.

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has published a draft bill which could see school governing bodies (SGBs) being stripped of their powers, argues Fedsas CEO Paul Colditz.

Read: New amendments to school legislation could leave SGBs out in the cold

Colditz says the proposed legislation will give the DBE power to make decisions on language policies, school leadership appointments and pupil admissions.

He also raised concerns that the bill allows government the use of school premises without compensation from the department.

The government is trying to get more control of schools. It's a political motive. That's why we're calling it school capture.

Paul Colditz, CEO Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools

Parents will have almost zero say. SGBs will be relegated to glorified fundraising committees, without any substantial or meaningful input in the education of their children.

Paul Colditz, CEO Federation of Governing Bodies of SA Schools

Fedsas represents over 2000 SGBs and is consulting its members on the proposed changes.

According to Colditz, the department has not clearly motivated the reasons for the proposed amendments.

He says that there are alternative ways in which to address the functions of corrupt or failing SGBs.

Meanhwile, public education organisation NELI argues that while it is important to review outdated school legislation, there needs to be collaborative input on any proposed changes.

Read the draft amendment bill here and visit the Fedsas website for info on how to comment.

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