Minister Angie Motshekga: Launch of School Governing Bodies 2024 Elections

Address by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, MP, at the launch of School Governing Bodies 2024 Elections held at Ronnie Mamoepa Media Centre (GCIS) Pretoria, 12 February 2024

Programme Director,
Members of the press,
School Governing Body Associations,
School Governing Bodies,
Members of Organised Labour,
Parents and Community members,

Shaping Our Future: Launching the 2024 SGB Elections Media Campaign

Good morning, distinguished guests, members of the press, and most importantly, fellow citizens who share the profound responsibility of educating our nation's children.

Today marks a significant milestone: the media campaign launch for the 2024 School Governing Body (SGB) Elections.

The actual SGB elections will be held from 01-31 March 2024 in all ordinary public schools. By law, we are required to conduct elections for SGBs every three years.

Our motivations, except for the legal injunction, are grounded in both evidence and aspiration.

Research has consistently shown that schools with active SGBs excel across various metrics, including academic performance, learner well-being, and community engagement.

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, 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.

Knowledge is at the heart of empowerment. Our 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.

Dialogue fosters understanding. We will initiate conversations across communities, creating platforms for questions, discussions, and sharing ideas. These dialogues will bridge gaps, dispel myths, and build a shared vision for our schools.

It's a moment that not only reflects our commitment to democratic values but also underscores our collective responsibility towards the future of basic education in South Africa.

By law, School Governing Bodies are the backbone of our school communities. They ensure our 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.

Yet, let us acknowledge a stark reality: past participation rates have not matched our aspirations. Despite the undeniable importance of SGBs, turnout has lingered around the 40% mark. This is not just a missed opportunity—it's a call to action.

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.

Our schools are the bedrock of society, nurturing the minds and futures of children and our entire nation.

They are not mere structures but vibrant knowledge, growth, and empowerment hubs. At the heart of this dynamism lie the SGBs – the unsung heroes who bridge the gap between communities and classrooms, working tirelessly to build environments where every child can flourish.

The upcoming elections carry immense weight. They represent not just an exercise in democracy but an opportunity for parents, educators, and community members to join hands and contribute to improving our 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.

We invite all eligible stakeholders – parents, teachers, non-teaching staff, learners (in high schools), and community members – to participate and have their say. Your voice matters.

The future of basic education isn't a distant horizon; it's being built today. Through these elections, we can influence policies and decisions that will guide our educational landscape for years to come.

We must choose a path toward excellence, equipping our children with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a dynamic world.

Thus, strengthening partnerships is the fuel that ignites progress. SGBs serve as a vital link, fostering understanding and collaboration between schools and the communities they serve.

Together, we can create environments that empower our children and unlock their full potential, preparing them for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Diversity is more than just a buzzword; it's a cornerstone of a thriving society. We celebrate the richness of diverse perspectives and experiences our communities bring to our schools.

SGBs should reflect this vibrant tapestry, ensuring no voice is left unheard. Through this inclusivity, we can craft a comprehensive approach to basic education that leaves no child behind.

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.

Throughout this month, the Department of Basic Education will share detailed information on the electoral process, nomination procedures, and critical dates.

We are committed to ensuring these elections are a model of democracy and accountability.

Today, we stand at a pivotal juncture. Let us harness the spirit of cooperation and progress, uniting as a community to build a brighter future for our children, schools, and beloved South Africa.

Remember, in the words of Nelson Mandela, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Together, let us wield this weapon responsibly through the 2024 SGB Elections.

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.

Thank you, and may the spirit of unity and purpose guide us on this crucial journey.

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