Centre opens its doors

2020-01-21 06:00
Learners Amerah Loofer (Grade 2), Principal Alta van Heerden and Grade 7 learner Blake Wilkenson at the entrance to the Alta van Heerden resource centre.

Learners Amerah Loofer (Grade 2), Principal Alta van Heerden and Grade 7 learner Blake Wilkenson at the entrance to the Alta van Heerden resource centre.

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The start of the new school year on Wednesday 15 January and the welcoming of new learners were not the only reasons for celebration at Sunlands Primary School in Kenwyn.

The school also launched its R6 million resource centre on Tuesday 14 January, the result of a three-year fundraising drive by the school community. 

Principal Alta van Heerden also received the Kader Asmal Excellence Award in November last year and to qualify for this award is not an easy task.

The Kader Asmal Excellence Award seeks to recognise educators who, in their work, demonstrate the key values that are a hallmark of Prof Asmal‘s leadership:

  • A demanding educational activist who leads by example;
  • An educator with a conscience and a feel for social justice;
  • An educator who takes or has taken a stand for an issue (popular or unpopular) on grounds of conscientiousness;
  • An educator with intellectual tenacity and rigour; and
  •  An educator who has made a creative, inspired and visible delivery.

Mark Kleinschmidt, councillor for ward 60, says the centre was spearheaded by Van Heerden who has been at the helm at Sunlands for more than 20 years. 

“The aptly named Alta van Heerden Resource Centre is a lifelong dream and the completion thereof coincides with her retirement at the end of this year,” says Kleinschmidt.

The centre was officially opened by superintendent-general head of Western Cape Education, Brian Schreuder. 

Kleinschmidt says:“As current councillor and past chair of the school governing body, I am extremely proud of Sunlands Primary School on its world-class resource centre. The school community is living up to its motto, Prudens Futuri (Wisdom for the future).” Van Heerden is also the president-elect of the International Confederation of Principals (ICP). She was elected at ICP’s convention held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in September 2018.

Her appointment was announced in a media statement by the provincial minister of education, Debbie Schäfer.

In her statement, Schäfer said the ICP has about 50 000 members at schools in 20 countries on all continents. The confederation represents individual members, groups and national associations of school principals and aspiring principals.

The organisation is dedicated to the development, support and promotion of school leadership globally. The ICP’s slogan is “Think global, act local”.

Van Heerden has served education for more than 35 years and has lead professional associations for the past 10 years.

She has held the positions of general secretary and president of the South African Principals’ Association (Sapa), and president of Sapa in the Western Cape.

She has been a member of the ICP Council since 2010 and has represented Africa on the ICP Executive for the past four years.

Van Heerden took up her position as president-elect in January 2018 and as president of the ICP in 2019.

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