Motshekga: Only 36% of school principals are women

Angie1 Motshekga: Only 36% of school principals are women

Men continue to dominate school principal positions despite an “overwhelming” number of women in the education sector, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has said.

“… There are only 8 210 female principals and 14 337 male principals appointed in permanent posts (in South Africa),” she said in a speech prepared for delivery in Pretoria today.

“This is a cause for concern, particularly because women constitute the majority in society and in the education sector in particular.”

Motshekga, who was speaking at the launch of a support network for female principals, said the country’s public schools had 257 633 female teachers and 119 579 male teachers.

She said gender inequality persisted in the education sector, particularly in high schools.

“The situation is worse in secondary schools where the majority of principals, their deputies, and heads of department are male.”

This was not representative of government’s vision to redress gender equity.

“Census 2011 did show that women are in the majority. This should be reflected in all sectors of society, even in schools,” said the minister.

“Due to current challenges facing women leaders, some women are even reluctant to take on leadership roles in education.”

Gender equality was key to transformation and development, she said.

“We believe women are critical influencers of social development within communities and contribute significantly to the country’s productive life.”

Motshekga’s department wanted to create more leadership roles for women, and help them “sharpen their skills” and better understand management roles.


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