School governing body elections under way

2012-03-14 12:00
Johannesburg - The election of school governing bodies (SGBs) in Gauteng schools is going well, the provincial education department said on Wednesday.

"The elections are on track and we urge parents to participate in numbers. In some areas attendance has been very good. Out of 2 149 public schools in our province, 512 schools have held elections," spokesperson Charles Phahlane said.

The elections taking place under the theme, "Your SGB Vote Counts: Make our Child's Schooling a Priority", are scheduled for March.

The department said the majority of elections were scheduled for the second and third weeks of March and would take place mostly on weekends. Some 140 schools had however deferred elections because they did not have a quorum, Phahlane said.

"All elections should be completed by end of this month, and those reconvening elections should complete voting by the middle of April.

"Schools are inviting parents or guardians to attend two meetings which should take place no less than 24 hours of each other," he said.

The first meeting was to nominate candidates, and the second for voting.

Spirit of community service

Gauteng education MEC Barbara Creecy pointed out that a person who served on an SGB needed to have a spirit of community service, since there was no remuneration for their role in the body.

"They should be able to express the views of parents and be able to ask parents what [is] their opinion on various issues," she said.

Members of SGBs included parents or guardians, teachers, pupils in Grade 8 or higher, school staff who were not teachers, and co-opted community members. Principals are automatically SGB members.

The bodies are expected to serve for three years. Their role is to ensure the smooth running of schools through addressing issues that include language policies, discipline, religious practices, fees, fund-raising, and budgets.

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