Former Laudium Secondary School principal now IDSO at Tshwane South district Daya Chetty has been left deeply impressed by the beauty of the people of Shanghai and their respectful and helpful manner.
Chetty, who believes SA schools — and society generally — would benefit greatly if such positive characteristics were promoted in this country.
Daya Chetty was chosen to represent the Gauteng province on a two-week study tour of Shanghai attended by 25 South African principals to learn and share best practices with their counterparts from the Chinese city.
The tour was hosted by the International Centre for Teacher Education at the East China Normal University from October 12 to 27.
The principals were selected from primary and secondary schools from across SA in an initiative by the department of education to expose them to innovations and opportunities that could help them grow and develop their pupils.
Chetty said the experience and information shared on the tour would definitely be of benefit to SA schools.
“Being exposed to leadership programmes at Shanghai schools and their constructive management styles provided the opportunity to learn and gain insight into different styles of management,” Chetty said.
“Certain aspects can effectively be included into existing trends for the betterment of our schools and to enhance our children.
“At every school the principal would share their best-practice ideas and successful methods to their Chinese counterparts,” he said.
The presentations from the East China Normal University covered Chinese education policy and recent reforms, Chetty said.
They also focused on the 2030 education agenda for sustainable development goals and learning achievements through quality assurance.
“They also touched on training and professional criteria for secondary school principals, the striving for excellence at schools, influence of Confucianism on Chinese culture and digital leadership at schools in practice,” Chetty said.
MAKING NEW FRIENDS: York High School in George principal Francois Moll with pupils from a primary school in Shanghai
MAKING NEW FRIENDS:
During the presentations, the SA principals were joined by 85 students from across Africa who are doing their Masters in education at East China Normal University.
Deputy principal of New Forest High in Durban Linda Shezi said principals in China set the spirit and tone at their schools.
Reflecting on the group’s engagements in China, Chetty said the experience had been enriching.
“This was evident in every school we have visited.
“The culture of the school requires the relentless pursuit of the what-else factor, the school brand that distinguishes your school from another.
“To set up and run a values-based school does not require any money.
“It does, however, require vision, adaptability, courageous leadership, strength, strength of conviction and an unapologetic pursuit of doing the right thing educationally for children under our care,” Chetty said.
Daya Chetty presented a paper at the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) at East Shanghai Normal University His topic was FAILURE IS NO OPTION. This was a comparative research study of South Africa, Finland, Somalia and China based on challenges and successes
Education department education management and governance development director James Ndlebe said the department had sought to expose the principals to innovation to improve the performance of their schools.
“We have seen how to run successful schools using new approaches, how to create and sustain a culture of excellence in a school,” he said.
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