Education Mec Awarded Honorary Fellowship By London Institute | Western Cape Government

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Education Mec Awarded Honorary Fellowship By London Institute

6 November 2005
WESTERN CAPE MEC for Education Cameron Dugmore has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship during a study tour to England and Ireland to strengthen ties with various educational institutions.

The award was presented to him by the Institute for Administrative Management (IAM), at a joint graduation ceremony of the IAM and the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) in London over the weekend.

The Fellowship is usually awarded to senior members for exceptional service who made a significant contribution over many years. The Fellowship has been awarded to MEC Dugmore in recognition of his commitment to, and enthusiasm for the promotion of the concept, development and promotion of the profession of school business management.

More than 100 graduates were presented with the national Certificate for School Business Management. The mission of the Institute for Administrative Management and the National College for School Leadership is to promote the concept of school managers as a profession, which can play an important role in the delivery of quality education.

This morning MEC Dugmore, accompanied by his Advisor Archie Lewis, Western Cape Education Department's Chief Director for Rural Schools Sindi Shayi, and Media Spokesperson Gert Witbooi, visited various schools where the appointment of school managers made a positive impact.

In some cases, administrators or secretaries of schools were appointed office managers or school managers upon the attainment of the Diploma or Certificate in School Business Management, in partnership with the Manchester Metropolitan University.

Said MEC Dugmore: "Whilst we have made great strides in terms of the transformation of our education system in the last eleven years, we acknowledge that much more needs to be done. Some of our major challenges are remarkably similar to the challenges that the education system in the United Kingdom face.

"A critical element of successfully addressing the challenges, is the effective and efficient leadership and management of our schools. Our principals, both in South Africa, in the UK and all over the world, face a myriad of complex challenges.

"Not only do they have they to ensure the effective delivery of the curriculum in the classroom, but they also have to look after the social well-being of children, and at the same time ensure that every teacher has his or her stationery supply.

"School managers, however, can release the principal from such administrative demands, so that he/she could concentrate on the core mandate, which is the delivery and development of the curriculum, and support for teachers and learners, and the improvement of academic performances and results.

"I was very impressed with how schools in England are appreciating and treating their administration staff, and invest in their education and enhancing their status.

"What was amazing about the ceremony, was that the graduates were all school admin staff, with their ages ranging from over 35 to 60. The certificate course was a year long, and the graduates appreciated the professional recognition they received.

"Often, some South African principals, teachers, school governing body members, parents and even learners, do not recognize and appreciate the professional contribution of school secretaries and other admin staff.

"The task of education provisioning and skills development require significant investment, both in terms of financial resources and human capital. Two of the lead strategies for Ikapa Elihlumayo, are developing Social and Human Capital, which are about building networks, partnerships and capacity. The emergence of a new type of professional level of school managers, hold exciting opportunities for secretaries, schools, business managers and government.

"Therefore, one of the tasks I have already identified arising out of this visit, is to bring together a regular forum of school secretaries, to affirm and enhance their roles in the school, and to ask for their input in the process of designing a curriculum on school management.

"I believe that our FET Colleges would be well-placed to develop a course in school business management with the help of our UK partners. I am working towards such a course being piloted in 2007. I will also be preparing a full report for Minister Naledi Pandor."

MEC Dugmore thanked the IAM for the honour bestowed on him, and generally for the support and friendship of the country during apartheid, and now "as we are standing on the threshold of the next decade of freedom and democracy?"

Gert Witbooi
Media Liaison Officer
Office of the MEC for Education
Western Cape
Tel: 021 467 2523
Fax: 021 425 5689
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