Solomon Qatyana Primary School has a new principal.With close to 20 years’ experience behind him, Mzwandile Nkohla assumed his school leadership duties at the beginning of October.He has already set his long-term goals for the school he now runs.The Northern Cape-born father of six has lived in the Western Cape since 1994.Nkohla obtained his BA degree and Higher Diploma in Education (HDE) from the University of the Western Cape, and began his teaching career at ACJ Phakade Primary School in 2000.So the Greenfields, Lwandle resident is no stranger to the Helderberg either.Over the years, he has held different positions, including head of department, and before his current post was deputy principal at Christmas Tinto Primary School in Asanda Village from 2013.Nkohla told City Vision his main goal is to see the development of learners and their academic improvement.“I will also place more emphasise on sports, arts and culture at our school,” he said. “We also need to motivate our teachers, as they will be the implementers of our plans.“As a school we need to know the child we educate is our main interest. Accordingly, we will need to develop our teachers and enhance their skills, so they are well able to impart all the gifts and talents that they possess.”Nkohla believes this will “propel learners in the right direction” as they move to successive levels of life.He said he also wants to instil a sense of discipline in the learners and each month he will focus on a particular value that is relevant to this.“Each month we will have a value to live by and see how our learners behave according to it. We will include parents in this exercise,” he related. “What we see in our society today is the result of a loss of values.”Nkohla pointed out that the community is part of the school and he looks forward to continuously building the partnership with the locals.“Our community needs to look at the school as an asset and play its part in ensuring it is a place of safety,” he said. “We will bring all the necessary stakeholders on board and find ways to secure our school.”Nkohla hopes his experience in the financial side of things will also help him in leading the school efficiently and effectively.From 2004 to 2008 he was branch treasurer of the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu) and currently serves as its regional treasurer. Nkohla also plans to further his studies, as he is always looking at ways to grow personally and “never to overstay in positions”.He promised the maximum time will be spent on learning and teaching at the school.The new principal looks forward to working with Solomon Qatyana’s management team, in which roles are clear, and to see what improvement plans can be put in place as time goes on.His interest in politics saw him choose teaching as a profession, as he felt by imparting knowledge to others he would be in a better position to influence society. “Teaching gives one an opportunity to impact knowledge and transfer skills that will remain forever,” Nkohla declared. A school, he added, is not an isolated entity, but something concrete for the community to make use of, as it’s where development takes place.