SENIOR Managers from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) have been using various forms of engagement platforms to reach out to schools to provide urgent support where needed during the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations.
These interventions also included school visits conducted by Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, Deputy Minister, Dr Regina Mhaule, and Director-General Hubert Mathanzima Mweli.
School visits and monitoring programmes are essential because they provide the Department with a broad picture of the situation faced by the sector to identify best practices and challenges from which intervention strategies can be developed to provide support to schools.
The Director for Education Management and Governance Development, James Ndlebe, indicated that Covid-19 posed challenges to every education stakeholder within the Basic Education Sector.
He applauded the role played by School Governing Bodies (SGBs), parents, School Management Teams (SMTs) and school principals in ensuring that the phased approach of opening schools, difficult as it was, was successful.
“As the governance of schools is vested in its SGB in terms of section 16(1) of the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996 (SASA), as amended, SGBs must promote the best interest of the school and support school staff and SMTs to perform their duties. During the advent of Covid-19, we saw SGBs becoming a link between the school and communities, leading to the safe return of learners to school and ensuring that there was social distancing; wearing of face masks; and adherence to hygiene protocols, including the availability of meals for all returning grades,” explained Ndlebe.
“Quality education cannot be achieved unless communities are involved in determining the nature, character and the direction that schools must take. The role of parents in supporting their school-going children cannot be over emphasised. It makes a huge difference in the outcome of learner performance. The establishment of SGBs is the way in which we, in the sector, formalise the interaction between schools and parents. This was evident in the many consultation meetings held between the Department and SGBs throughout the lock down period,” he concluded.