Knowledge is Power: Working as a team

Dr J Naidoo.

All public schools are assisted by School Governing Bodies (SGB) in order to maintain good practices.  At many successful schools, SGBs work harmoniously with the school principal and the staff to achieve relative success and promote the growth of the school.  In schools where the SGB oppose, rather than support the school management team, disharmony occurs.

In order to achieve this success, it is important for SGBs to empower themselves and know their role functions well.  This ensures that they act within the ambit of the law pertaining to school governance in South Africa.  The primary act that regulates governance at public schools is the South African Schools Act (SASA), Act 84 of 1996.  This act details all the functions necessary for SGBs at public schools.

If SGBs know their duties well, they would not step into the domain of the school management team and the principal.  It is important to accord each the respect they deserve.  Teamwork is important in ensuring that duties are carried out diligently and effectively.  Once empowered, the SGB would look at school improvement and school development in a positive light.

Many members of SGBs shy away from their duties for fear of being inadequately qualified to do so.  Teamwork at all levels of school governance will prevent such tensions in members of the school governing body.

Teamwork would serve to empower and boost the confidence of newly elected members.  Older members need to mentor these new members and serve as a source of inspiration to them.  The principal and staff can also hold empowerment workshops for SGB members.

Learning is a lifelong exercise, and a journey to achieve success by our own predetermined standards.  Knowledge is only construed as knowledge if it is shared with others, especially with those who are eager to learn.  The team empowers each other unselfishly and unconditionally.  The word ‘team’ is also the acronym for ‘Together Everybody Achieves More.’ Comments and suggestions can be forwarded to [email protected]

Dr J Naidoo


Dr J Naidoo

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