Tom Stokes, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Education
The Democratic Alliance has received an assurance from KZN Education MEC, Senzo Mchunu that a departmental plan aimed at urgently and radically transforming leadership in under-performing schools will not target those schools managed by competent principals and effective school governing bodies (SGB’s).
The assertion comes after the DA raised the concerns of SGB members. This follows recent ANC policy talks around changing the way in which principals are selected.
Currently SGB’s are responsible for interviewing prospective candidates, submitting a ranked short list to the Department and, unless there are very urgent reasons, identifying their preferred candidate. In other words, the view of the SGB is honoured. This works very well in those schools where SGB’s are effective and knowledgeable, and where schools have a history of sound governance and good academic results.
Unfortunately this doesn’t happen all the time. In many schools SGB’s are not informed, are not trained and are sometimes not well educated. These factors limit their understanding of the needs of the school or the capacity of candidates. Consequently poor principals are appointed and schools suffer. This is not a small problem- many schools have underperforming principals.
The DA welcomes the MEC’s affirmation that there is no ulterior motive behind the initiative, with those schools that are currently performing exempt from the changes.