Corruption within school governing bodies (SGB) is becoming an all too common occurrence according to public advocacy group, Corruption Watch, who has sought to develop education material on governance in schools, in a bid to tackle the scourge. The organization will have a keen eye on this month’s SGB election process, and are planning to education current and future members on how to tackle corruption within their respective schools.
Corruption Watch initially launched its school corruption campaign in 2013, to much success. Amongst the notable findings during this campaign were high levels of mismanagement on the part of SGB members.
“It appears that most school governing body members don’t understand their responsibilities and role within this job. That was an issue for us,” explained campaigns and stakeholder manager, Lucky Ronald Menoe.
He noted that in some cases the organization was being contacted by SGB treasurers, some of whom highlighted instances of having to sign blank cheques for their respective school principals. In some cases, this provided principals with leeway to partake in corrupt activity.
With this in mind, Menoe said Corruption Watch had resolved to extending and broadening its awareness campaign, with the goal of educating existing and new SGB members, in a bid to weed out such forms of ‘corruption’. Furthermore, this campaign would also seek to educate parents as to the role they could play in addressing this issue.
“With the public educational material that we’ve developed, we want to start having a conversation with newly elected SGB members (as to how they could tackle corruption), “he stated.
Menoe appealed to parents to take a more proactive stance in the running of their child’s school, by inquiring about and partaking in the scheduled elections.
Corruption Watch has made available a special helpline throughout the elections process. To report any incidents of corruption, or for any further inquiries, you may contact them via the number 0800 023 456.
Western Cape schools will be participating in SGB elections between the 6th, and 28th March. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)