Inspiring talks and stern warning as Gauteng education inaugurates newly elected SGBs

Thousands of school governing body (SGB) officials who were elected in the 2024 elections gathered at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg, Johannesburg, on Saturday for their inauguration ceremony.

The ceremony, hosted by the Gauteng department of education (GDE), was attended by SGB members from all parts of the province, including principals, teachers, school staff, SGB associations and officials from the province’s education districts.

Also in attendance were education committee chairperson in the Gauteng provincial legislature Tshilidzi Munyai and CEO of the Matthew Goniwe School of Governance and Leadership Sibusiso Mahlangu.

The Matthew Goniwe School of Governance and Leadership is responsible for training SGBs, including in areas such as policy review and development, financial management, fundraising and developing school improvement plans.

Delivering the keynote address, Gauteng education MEC Matome Chiloane reminded parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, principals and community members of the important role they play as SGB members in ensuring good governance, discipline and good academic performance at schools.

Lamenting the societal ills that spill into schools such as ill-discipline, substance abuse and crime, Chiloane reminded parents, teachers and principals of being good role models for the children.

He called for principals to lead from the front by being good leaders at schools and the community. He said parents’ and guardians’ role in instilling discipline and good behaviour must start at home.

Chiloane spoke of the importance of a well-functioning SGB that focuses on its governance role and does not interfere in the management of the school.

“In some township schools in particular, you find a situation that is largely characterised by conflict between the school management team and the SGB,” he said, adding that at the centre of tensions are battles over the school’s funds.

“There is a potential for an unholy alliance between the chair [of the SGB], treasurer [of SGB], principal and the bank account,” he said.

“Schools don’t have money,” he said, cautioning those who are in SGBs for personal gain.

Acting chief director Mmule Madonsela said out of the 2 220 schools in Gauteng only three are yet to conclude SGB elections.

She congratulated the 19 schools that conducted their elections electronically.

She said the newly inaugurated SGBs must ensure that they have received a handover report from the previous SGBs and that a checklist has also been conducted with the former SGBs to ensure a smooth transition and continuity.

Renowned motivational speaker Dr David Molapo gave the members some words of inspiration, saying that they must not underestimate the power of the assignment they are given as SGB members.

“An effective leader is one that identifies tomorrow’s problems and solves them today,” he said, reminding them to think about things such as artificial intelligence and other Fourth Industrial Revolution concepts and their impact on education.

Paying tribute to the former SGB members for the 2021 to 2024 period, chief director Dennis Makwakwa said Gauteng had minimal disruptions.

To the current SGBs, he said: “You are going to be close partners of the GDE. In 2024 with support, we will get position one in the matric exam,” he said.

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