Partners for Possibility (PfP) held a symposium at the Melrose Place Guest Lodge on 22 October to get word out about their organisation. Founder Louis van Rhyn highlighted the plight of the 80 per cent of schools where principals needed leadership skills. She said that these skills would change school environments countrywide.
Van Rhyn explained that PfP partnered middle to senior level management leaders with a principal that needed leadership skills development in their role as leader of their respective schools.
“There are around 20 000 schools in our country that are not functioning as well as the privately run schools. Our initiative is to bring in leadership skills from the corporate world into struggling schools,” Van Rhyn said.
She pointed out that 50 per cent of Grade 1 pupils did not obtain their Matric which, she said, was an essential requirement in the job market.
“There are many principals who need practical support and that is where our leaders come in –they lend the leadership skills that they have learned from the corporate environment,” she said.
She explained that PfP facilitated this partnership and encouraged leaders to join in their campaign as they had a target of eventually having 20 000 leaders in all 20 000 schools that required leadership assistance.
Van Rhyn said that the organisation sought to have principals who are confident and energised to lead, alongside school management teams and business leaders who help develop the school management team into a cohesive and aligned team.
Rosie Chirongoma is one of the leaders who has taken up the call to offer assistance. She said that the experience has been an eye-opener for her and even though she was there to lend her assistance she was also learning from the principal of Siphetu Primary School in Daveyton.
“Time can be more valuable than second-hand clothes, donations and money. What is needed is a contribution of skills and time,” she said.