With the end of the school year 2016, and having had the privilege of interacting with several school Principal's these last weeks, we were again reminded of the multitude of tasks that Principals and their SGB's are responsible for, to ensure the good functioning of their schools, which impacts the lives of so many.
We found ourselves asking the question: How can Electricity and Water consumption and cost ever become a priority in schools...
It is (and can be seen as a crucial) part of an overall good management of the school, although the important functions of a school is learning and teaching, from which all other concerns rightly pales into insignificance.
In his study "A Qualitative Analysis of Facilities Maintenance — a School Governance Function in South Africa by Prof. M I Xaba - School of Education Sciences, North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus, South Africa, tells us:
"Numerous studies indicate that most school governance functions prescribed by the South African Schools Act (Republic of South Africa, 1996) are specialist and complex in nature, require specialist skills to execute and there is generally, a dearth of such skills in school governing bodies. This poses mammoth challenges for school governing bodies in so far as executing their school governance functions is concerned...
Prof. M I Xaba continues: "If well maintained and managed, they [school facilities] provide conducive environments that translate into quality education. If well maintained and utilised, they can realise substantial efficiency gains ... also deepen national and sector values of school- community relationships and community ownership of schools."
Understanding that good functioning of schools, contribute to a much higher cause, indicates the importance of understanding and managing electricity and water consumption in schools.
As we enjoy the successes of 2016, we look forward to being part of an ongoing change to contribute to identifying improvements in our system, where Electricity and Water, not only a cost but an important and valuable resource, become an inclusive part of the global strategy of schools.