Principals seek excellence

2018-02-13 06:00
Dr Elanca Shelley, senior lecturer at UCT’s Graduate School of Business, hands over Jeremiah Beukes’s qualification.

Dr Elanca Shelley, senior lecturer at UCT’s Graduate School of Business, hands over Jeremiah Beukes’s qualification.

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Teachers are a key component in improving South Africa’s education system. Upskilling the custodians of young minds has the potential to transform the learning experience for young people.

To this end, 25 school principals graduated from the Management Development Programme (MDP) – an initiative run by the Principals Academy Trust in conjunction with the UCT Graduate School of Business. They now have the skills, support and knowledge necessary to be better managers of their schools, which has a powerful ripple effect.

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 students in their schools.

“As a primary school teacher, the programme has taught me to create an enabling environment, whereby all role players feel free to take positive initiative within their organisation,” says MDP graduate Jeremiah Beukes, principal of Garlandale Secondary.

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.”


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