The Democratic Alliance (DA) has condemned the behaviour of the School Governing Bodies (SGB) at Moses Kotane and Julius Sebolai Primary Schools in Braamfischer, Soweto for disrupting learning this week.
On Monday, there were reports that the two schools governing bodies were picketing outside the schools and prohibiting learners from entering the schools’ premises.
Khume Ramulifho, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education said the newly elected SGB wants power to control the school finances and so, they decided to picket and disrupt learning and teaching at the school.
The school governing bodies were recently appointed in schools across the country, in what was deemed the largest public elections after national, provincial, and local elections. This is because more than five million people usually cast their votes for the SGBs.
Basil Manuel, executive manager the National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa said schools SBGs should not think they are school managers.
“The SGB is in charge of governance and we must make it very clear that there is a clear distinction between the governance of the school and the management of the school,” said Manuel.
“The governing body cannot disrupt schooling. They in fact have the exact opposite mandate and their mandate must be to ensure that schooling happens,” he added.
The DA called on the Gauteng Education Department to intervene on the issue with both schools.
Ramulufho said the DA spoke to the head of department at Gauteng education who said they would send their district team to intervene. Adding that the SGB needs to find better ways to solve issues and not disrupt teaching and learning at school.
“The SGB is the voice of the parents, if they are unhappy with things, they need to draw the attention of management to the issue but can’t act without having involved the education department and principal,” said Manuel.
Ramulifho said learners cannot afford to lose days as they are on a rotational basis which means they do not attend class every day.
“We need to ensure that we protect the time afforded to learners at school, parents can contact the department for other issues,” said Ramulifho.