Corruption Watch (CW) today launched a campaign focusing on the upcoming school governing body (SGB) elections, which take place from 1 – 31 March 2018. The objective of the campaign is to rally parents, teachers, principals and learners to exercise their votes to elect people of integrity so that our schools are well managed and resourced. School governance is a key element in ensuring that quality learning and teaching are achieved. Our launch coincided with the Gauteng Department of Education’s (GDE) official launch of the #SGBElections today at Seshegong Secondary school in Olievenhoutbosch, Centurion. “We are going to identify those who enter just to fill their pockets…if schools are not governed well, it leaves room for corruption and learners suffer,” said CW deputy director Ronald Lucky Menoe, addressing the GDE event. The department has invited CW to sit on the task team to review the national guidelines for the appointment of SGB members. Over the past five years, the organisation has received more than 2 000 complaints of corruption in schools involving theft of funds and/or goods, financial mismanagement, and tender corruption, with principals and members of the governing body most often implicated. The education system is already faced with the challenge of a vast discrepancy in the level of basic education available to learners, the lasting effects of the educational segregation of apartheid, with the result that many schools are under-resourced and lack sanitation, teachers, learning materials and infrastructure. The impact of corruption on learners is a serious blight that undermines the quality of education and affects their prospects for the future. Corruption Watch has embarked on an awareness campaign to mobilise the public to participate in the elections, so as to help improve the management and performance of our schools and hold elected members accountable. This is the opportunity for parents to get involved in the SGB election process and have a say in the governance of their children’s schools. The organisation has produced a publication that outlines the importance of participating in the SGB elections, and summarises the process and the role of SGBs in school governance. This SGB toolkit is available today by clicking on this link. Look our for a print version which will be inserted as a supplement in the Daily Sun on 26 February 2018. Following the elections, we will work with government and other stakeholders to assist in the training and upskilling of newly elected SGB members. Download the toolkit or read it online below. You may also read it on Issuu.