The Department of Education says there will be further opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed amendments to the South African Schools Act through the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill.
The proposed amendments will limit the functioning of SGBs by stripping them of decision-making powers, particularly in making recommendations on staff appointments and some financial policies.
Department of Basic Education spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga rubbished the claims that the Bill will take away the powers of the SGB, saying the claims are not true.
SGBs remains an integral part of the education system. They are the first port of call when it comes to the administration and the management of schools on a day to day basis because it's them who look after the schools.— Elijah Mhlanga, Spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education
What we are doing, is to strengthen the weakness that we've picked up over the years of implementing the School's Act.— Elijah Mhlanga, Spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education
Mhlanga says the SGBs will still have a role in the enactment of policies and appointment of teachers, but will not have the final decision because the department has noticed that when the final word lies with the SGB, there has been an abuse of power.
We have many instances where that has happened. We even have court cases to attest to that. Those are the loopholes and weaknesses that we are trying to close.— Elijah Mhlanga, Spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education
CEO of Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) says the department asked them to make submissions of the changes they would like to see in the Schools Act, but not a single one was included in the current proposed Bill.
At our request as to why our submissions were not included, there was no response, even in our meetings with the deputy minister.— Paul Colditz, CEO of Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools
Those amendments they are proposing in the Schools Act do not take into consideration what the Constitutional Court said with regards to the role of the SGB and the engagements that should take place between the provincial government and governing bodies.— Paul Colditz, CEO of Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Bela Bill does not strip SGBs of their power - Dept of Basic Education