A delegation of South African school principals are in China where they are participating in a study tour which is showcasing best practice in the sector.
The delegation made up of 25 school principals and four officials from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) have arrived in Shanghai, China, to participate in a seminar on policy and the management of basic education.
“The Seminar on Education Policy and Management of Basic Education is being hosted by the International Centre for Teacher Education at the East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai. Seven lectures have been organised to make presentations and lead discussions during the 14 day programme,” said the department ahead of Monday’s programme.
The Embassy of China in South Africa is sponsoring the delegation’s participation in the seminar. The delegation will also attend the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) Conference.
The principals–which represent all of South Africa’s provinces– were selected from the leadership of the South African Principals’ Association.
The trip, said the department, also emphasises government’s commitment to support professional associations in the field of leadership and management in line with the National Development Plan (NDP).
The delegation is expected to visit six schools and the ECNU campus.
The study tour comes as a result of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga’s meeting with the Ambassador of China on 6 March 2014. Commitments made at the meeting include the sending of 25 school principals to China for training over a five year period.
The delegation is led by James Ndlebe who is responsible for education management and governance in schools at the DBE.
“It is important to expose our school principals to opportunities that can help them grow and develop for the benefit of their colleagues and indeed the learners. We cannot adequately prepare our learners to participate in the global economy as global citizens unless we ourselves become the compass to show them the direction by being global citizens ourselves,” he said.
Ndlebe said there is a need to take a leaf from the experience of other countries.
“We need to start seeing what other countries are doing so we can learn and improve our situation. We need to expand our knowledge through the professional learning communities that we are establishing through this exercise,” he said.
The tour will end on 27 October 2019.