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Sunday, 12 May, 2002

Powers of school governing bodies

Statement by André Gaum, Western Cape Education Minister

I refer to a letter in the Business Day of 10 May 2002 from the Education Minister, Professor Kader Asmal, titled "Bill is fully supported by all provinces".

Prof Asmal said in the letter that the Education Laws Amendment Bill was the product of the Council of Education Ministers and therefore carried the full support of all provinces.

This statement in not entirely correct. The Bill was tabled at the CEM meeting of 15 April 2002 under an agenda item on the admission policy of learners, carried over from the previous CEM meeting.

The CEM meeting of 15 April noted the Bill but did not discuss it. The Minister has invited comment on the Bill, which must be lodged by April 15.

The various sections of the Bill include measures to enable provincial departments to appoint new recruits or applicants after a break in service without the recommendation of a governing body.

While I agree with the objectives of the Bill, I am opposed in principle to watering down the powers and competencies of school governing bodies.

At my request, my department is drafting alternative proposals for submission to the Department of Education, which will achieve the objectives of the Bill without eroding the powers of governing bodies.

Enquiries: André Gaum 082-550-3938

Issued by:
The Communications Directorate
Western Cape Education Department
Private Bag X9114
Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 467-2531
Fax: (021) 467-2363
Email: pattwell@pawc.wcape.gov.za
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