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'Curbing powers of SGBs not the way to end corruption in school appointments'

19 January 2020 10:14 AM
Tags:
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga
FEDSAS
Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill
buying of school posts
Fedsas CEO Paul Colditz argues against a proposed amendment to reduce role of SGBs in appointing principals, deputies, dept heads.

A new draft bill aims to strip school governing bodies (SGBs) of their powers in appointing principals, their deputies and heads of departments.

The Department of Education says the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill is intended to address corruption in these appointments.

However, governing body associations and educator unions strongly oppose the amendment says Paul Colditz, CEO of the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas).

RELATED: School governing bodies have checks and balances, Fedsas explains

Colditz maintains it's at departmental level that the rot lies when it comes to the buying of posts.

The problem was this buying of posts and no school governing body has been involved in the buying of posts in any manner whatsoever.

Paul Colditz, CEO - Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools

The school governing body is the body representing the school community, the society.

Paul Colditz, CEO - Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools

So now, what you're actually doing is making wolf, shepherd, by appointing a panel of departmental officials - those very people who have been involved in the selling of posts.

Paul Colditz, CEO - Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools

What about the argument that some SGBs may not have the requisite skills to make proper recommendations for appointments?

The answer is to capacitate them, says Colditz, but this is not being done. In any case he adds, there are checks and balances in place to address such instances.

I've personally written to provincial departments of education on a number of occasions to say: We have the expertise as the federation, we have the capacity to train these people, to capacitate them. Give us the opportunity to do so - the law allows you to do so.

Paul Colditz, CEO - Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools

If it is felt that a particular governing body does not have the capacity to make a proper recommendation, the head of department has the power in terms of the Schools Act to withdraw that particular function from that particular governing body and then appoint competent people to do the job.

Paul Colditz, CEO - Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools

He says bureaucrats are not familiar with the culture of a particular community and may not have the best interests of a school at heart.

The draft bill is scheduled to be discussed by the major stakeholders and Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga later this month.

We're hoping that the minister and her senior officials will see the light, because every single governing body association, every single educator union at this stage is opposed to that particular amendment regarding the appointment of principals and deputy principals.

Paul Colditz, CEO - Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools

Listen to Colditz's argument in the audio below:


19 January 2020 10:14 AM
Tags:
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga
FEDSAS
Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill
buying of school posts

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