After 1994, as part of our democracy, SGBs were set up in our schools to ensure that every part of the school community had a say in the process of teaching and learning. As part of this democratisation process, learner’s organisations were also given formal legal status by means of the South African Schools Act (SASA) which states that a Representative Council of Learners (RCL) should be set up to represent the interests of the learners in every public school which has learners from Grade 8 and above. Learners need to learn the skill of being a good public speaker and to communicate clearly in both the written and spoken form.
Learners from Grades 8 to 12, who have been elected to form part of the RCL at their school. The RCL consists of two elected representatives from each class in a school – one male and one female. Single sex schools have just one representative from each class.
Learners are given experience in public speaking by preparing and delivering speeches. They also learn how to write and present reports.
Learners who have been a part of the RCL at their school, gain experience in improving their communication skills, which helps their self-esteem and enables them to present themselves well in their communities.