Making principals better managers

2018-02-13 06:00
Dr Elanca Shelly, senior lecturer at the Graduate School of Business, with Kevin Voges from AZ Berman High School.

Dr Elanca Shelly, senior lecturer at the Graduate School of Business, with Kevin Voges from AZ Berman High School.

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As custodians of young minds, teachers who are upskilled have the potential to transform the learning experience for young people.

Teachers are a key component in improving South Africa’s education system and with this in mind, several principals from across the City attended a management programme last month.

A total of 25 principals graduated from the Management Development Programme (MDP) on Tuesday 30 January.

Among these were four principals from Mitchell’s Plain schools.

The MDP is an initiative run by the Principals Academy Trust in conjunction with the UCT Graduate School of Business and, following the course, the graduating principals now have the skills, support and knowledge necessary to be better managers of their schools.

The MDP aims to improve the management capabilities of crucial school
managers.

So far, the programme has had a dramatically positive effect on the lives of the principals and the learners at their schools.

MDP graduate Edna Hockey, principal of Beacon View Primary, says: “As a teacher, this programme has taught me to create an enabling environment, whereby all role players feel free to take positive initiative within their organisation.”

The core mission of the Principals Academy is to turn public schools serving socio-economically disadvantaged communities into centres of excellence.

Apart from sponsoring principals through the MDP, individual support is also provided by retired school principals with a successful track record as heads of high-performing schools.

Capitec Foundation, which has been funding the Principals Academy since its inception six years ago, was its first corporate funder.

Neptal Khoza from Capitec Foundation explains that since 2012 the programme has supported 128 principals in the Western Cape’s metro and winelands districts.

“Capitec Foundation supports principals and their deputies from schools that are part of our maths and science support programmes. The emphasis is on catalysing capable managers who feel empowered to run centres of excellence,” says Khoza.

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