On 30 November 2018, the School Coaching and Mentoring Programme for 103 Circuit Managers from 12 Districts across the Eastern Cape was officially launched at the Leadership Institute in East London.
Speakers included the SG for Education in the Eastern Cape, Mr Themba Kojana, Executive Director of USB-ED, Dr Chris van der Hoven and SEED Managing Trustee, David Newby and the Senior Programme Manager of the Old Mutual Foundation who are funding the programme, Kanyisa Diamond.
In his speech David Newby reminded the audience of the following:
The challenges facing us in education in South Africa are immense and the resources will always be insufficient to meet the needs. When faced with this scarcity of resources, it is important to recognise that the most important resource we have to offer schools is ourselves. As circuit managers and Departmental officials, who you are and how you show up at the schools you visit can have a significant impact on these schools.
The SCM programme offers you a unique opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery and reflective practice so that you can better understand who you are, what is important to you and what you believe about what you do. It also seeks to develop the skills you need to engage effectively with school principals in learning conversations that empower them to lead positive change in their schools.
The District is the interface between the Department and the school and the Circuit Manager is the primary holder of this relationship. We applaud the Eastern Cape for being willing to pilot this programme. This is very different from anything else happening around the country. We believe that the rest of the country will soon begin to sit up and take notice and so we must make sure that we give this every opportunity to succeed and ensure that we capture the lessons along the way.
For those of you who will be enrolling in the programme, this is not so much a course as it is a learning journey. This will not be a series of academic lectures. This will be a blended learning journey that will get you to critically engage with your personal identity and practice and your professional identity and practice. We expect this to impact who you are as a person and also how you “show up” at the school. If you have lost your passion and your sense of hope then our hope is that this programme will nurture the faint flicker of a flame that still burns within you and fan into life a flame that will burn brightly so that this and future generations of children will be able to bask in the light and the warmth of an education we can all be proud of.