Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has called on eligible stakeholders, parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, learners in high schools, and community members to participate and have their say in the upcoming 2024 School Governing Body (SGB) Elections.
Motshekga was speaking during the launch of the 2024 School Governing Body (SGB) Elections Campaign in Pretoria on Monday.
The actual SGB elections will be held from 1 – 31 March 2024 in all ordinary public schools. By law, the department is required to conduct elections for SGBs every three years.
‘As we launch this campaign, I call upon each of you, parents, teachers, learners, and community members to join us in this crucial endeavour.
‘Engage with the process, educate yourselves and others and most importantly, exercise your right to vote. Your involvement is not just a contribution but a testament to your commitment to the future of our nation’s children.
‘My call to action today is simple yet powerful: get involved. Whether you choose to stand
for election or cast your vote, your contribution holds immense significance. It will not only impact the lives of our children but also shape the future of our nation,’ Motshekga said.
She said that research has consistently shown that schools with active SGBs excel across various metrics, including academic performance, learner wellbeing, and community engagement.
She said the correlation between engaged SGBs and school success is undeniable. Schools with high SGB participation report an average 20% higher pass rate than those with lower engagement.
Additionally, the Minister said that incidents of vandalism and truancy decrease significantly in schools with active governing bodies.
‘These are not just numbers; they are compelling evidence of the power of active participation. Our vision is for every school to harness this potential, translating active governance into tangible outcomes for our children.
‘Therefore, our campaign, ‘Empower, Engage, Educate’, aims to catalyse a shift. With a multifaceted
strategy leveraging both digital and traditional media, we intend to reach every corner of our society. From rural townships to bustling urban centres, our message is clear: your voice shapes the future,’ she said.
Motshekga told the media briefing that the campaign will provide comprehensive resources on the roles and significance of SGBs, the election process, and how every individual can contribute.
Workshops, informational pamphlets, and an interactive website will serve as conduits for this essential knowledge.
Motshekga said there will be a dialogue to foster understanding. The campaign will initiate conversations across communities, creating platforms for questions, discussions and sharing ideas.
The Minister said these dialogues will bridge gaps, dispel myths and build a shared vision for schools.
She said this is a moment that not only reflects the department’s commitment to democratic values but also underscores the collective responsibility towards the future of basic educ
ation in South Africa.
Building stronger schools
By law, School Governing Bodies are the backbone of school communities. They ensure schools are not merely institutions of learning but beacons of hope, character, and community spirit.
‘Their impact is profound and far-reaching, with roles encompassing financial management, policy formulation, and staff appointment.
‘In the coming months, we embark on a collective journey to shape the future of our education system, brick by democratic brick.
‘As we approach these elections, we are reminded of the significance of active participation. The vibrancy of our democracy is mirrored in the engagement of our school communities,’ Motshekga said.
The Minister further acknowledged the stark reality of past participation rates, which have not matched the department’s aspirations.
Despite the undeniable importance of SGBs, she said the turnout has lingered at around the 40% mark. ‘This is not just a missed opportunity; it’s a call to action.’
The Minister emphasise
d that SGBs serve as a vital link, fostering understanding and collaboration between schools and the communities they serve.
‘As we celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2023, weathering turbulent waters yet emerging with hope, their success speaks volumes.
‘In KwaZulu-Natal, where we witnessed a remarkable improvement in results, the unwavering support of SGBs played a pivotal role. This is a testament to the immense power of active and engaged school communities,’ the Minister said.
Motshekga emphasised that the upcoming elections carry immense weight because they represent not just an exercise in democracy but an opportunity for parents, educators, and community members to join hands and contribute to improving schools.
‘With this responsibility comes a clarion call: it’s time to raise our voices and shape the education we envision for our children. Transparency and inclusivity are our guiding principles to ensure every voice is heard.
‘The Department of Basic Education stands firmly committed to
conducting these elections with unwavering integrity,’ she said.
Throughout this month, the Department of Basic Education will share detailed information on the electoral process, nomination procedures, and critical dates.
The department is committed to ensuring that these elections are a model of democracy and accountability.
Source: South African Government News Agency