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‘Technology makes new demands on principals’


Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga addresses principals
Picture: Fredlin Adriaan

Principals needed to adapt to new challenges facing education as a result of the ever-developing technological industry, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said yesterday.

Motshekga was speaking at the Suid-Afrikaanse Onderwysersunie annual three-day principal symposium at Nelson Mandela University’s south campus.

About 800 principals, teachers and education experts listened to Motshekga’s 20-minute speech on the technological revolution and the new dynamics it presented in education.

She said principals could no longer rely solely on the guidelines provided by the department but also needed to adopt rational thought and logic in response to their respective challenges.

“The technological evolution is fundamentally changing the way we work, live and relate to each other,” Motshekga said.

“We don’t know at this point how it will unfold but the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive.

“This shift changes what is required of public school principals. For me, the different responsibilities of managing people, managing data and processes is at the heart of the new principal or leadership we need.”

She cited the example of pupils at Pretoria West High School who boycotted classes on Monday demanding to wear skinny pants.

“I’m not sure how we cope. I don’t even know if we have the answers,” she said.

Principals and teachers needed to be upskilled to deal with changing expectations.

“New leaders need to be technologically savvy with multiple skillsets.. The current cohort will do well to reinvent ourselves if we are to survive the demands of the 21st century.”



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