The Democratic Alliance (DA) has congratulated Minister Angie Motshekga today on the gazetting of draft regulations dealing with The South African Standard for Principalship.
“We will be participating in the process of refining her draft, by submitting our comments before the deadline date of 29 August 2014,” said the party.
“We encourage all interested South Africans, and particularly South African school principals, to do the same.”
It appears that the gazetting of these draft regulations has been rendered necessary through SADTU’s refusal to agree to a revised Quality Management System that holds principals accountable in just the manner that is envisaged in these draft regulations.
After 3 years of negotiation in the Education Labour Relations Council, the 5th revision (dated 25 March 2013), has still not been signed by SADTU.
The Minister appears to be gearing up for a challenge against SADTU and its extreme reluctance to confront any meaningful form of performance management.
The document gazetted for comment provides a comprehensive description of what any parent, learner or teacher would desire in the principal of the school with which they are associated. It also provides commendable projections on how the standards will be used.
For example, principals might use the standards to identify and address their own professional development needs, or a provincial Department of Education might structure support in a focused effort to achieve the standards in all of its principals.
These laudable goals might well be achieved in well-functioning provinces such as the Western Cape where principals are already held to account through a well-structured accountability system involving School Improvement Plans.
Provinces such as the Eastern Cape and Limpopo are the hardest hit by the dysfunctional management of education where SADTU has an iron grip on what is or is not implemented. This situation would not improve the standard if these regulations remained discretionary.
The DA believes firmly that the standard, once gazetted, should be binding on all principals.
The DA will submit its detailed comment on the draft regulations, and will keenly follow the process. Should the final regulations be gazetted without any provision binding all Departments of Education to compliance, the DA will submit a Private Member’s Bill to achieve exactly this.