Challenges facing education in South Africa such as discipline problems in schools, the literacy crisis and the constant shift in the educational curriculum require educators to lead from the front and Masters of Business and Administration (MBA) graduate Ms Thembekile Ndlovu is doing just that!
As the principal of Inanda’s Khanyanjalo Primary School, the President and Chairperson of the South African Principals Association and an adjudicator of the National Teaching Awards, Ndlovu says leadership requires special skills.
‘It is at primary school level whereas a teacher “I can make it or break it” for each child who passes through my hands. I am passionate about teaching the “total child”, observing the progress, realising the potential and building on that,’ said Ndlovu.
‘As a leader, I enjoy instructional leadership for curriculum delivery and encourage all my teachers to do their best. Sharing our good and best practices as school leaders in South Africa and internationally has enhanced my approach to leadership and I strive for excellence at all times,’ she said.
In her MBA research titled: Leadership Challenges Facing Female School Principals in the Durban INK Area, Ndlovu explores challenges female principals face as school leaders in the Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (INK) areas in Durban. The study was supervised by Dr Cecile Proches.
‘The research led to women leaders talking openly about their experiences in school leadership and has provided a platform to share good practices and willingness to face the challenges head on. The findings were very interesting and gave meaning to what we see taking place in education today,’ said Ndlovu.
Ndlovu says her MBA has given her a new perspective to make changes where she can and inspire others to do the same.
‘What is happening in schools these days, especially the bad behaviour of children, is sad and unacceptable. Parents have a huge responsibility to inculcate morals and respect in their children. Rights are balanced with responsibilities and the code of conduct at schools should clearly state the consequences of bad behaviour and be strictly enforced.
‘The MBA has taught me more than I anticipated. I have learned how to lead my school as a business. Though it is a non-fee-paying school, I am already making a huge difference in leadership not only in my school but also in the community and in the country,’ said Ndlovu.
Words: Thandiwe Jumo