An organisation is only as good as its leadership.
This statement is particularly true for education where the quality of education is closely allied to the effectiveness of school leadership.
With this in mind, the North-West University (NWU) makes an essential contribution to the training of school principals in the Northern Cape and North West provinces.
Principals, selected by the provincial education departments, undergo a two year programme at NWU, which has been specially developed for the professional development of school leaders in a South African education context.
The competency of school principals is a focal point in the education discourse and the programme has as its aim the establishment of the foundation for the empowerment of school principals as effective school leaders.
This programme has been successfully presented by NWU since 2008 and it enjoys the support of the provincial and national education departments.
The value of this particular programme was again confirmed during the recent graduation ceremony on February 21 2013 in Upington, where 150 school principals in the Northern Cape received their Advanced Certificates in Education with specialisation in school leadership.
The principals are the first to emphasise the value of the occupation-oriented qualification for their professional development as school leaders.
Pivotal to the programme’s success is the implementation of a mentor and network system, a reflection journal and a school leadership portfolio.
Core modules focus on school leadership in a South African context, the management of education policy, communication in education, school control and development, the management of human capital, organisation, instructional leadership and mentorship.
Dr Herman J van Vuuren works at the faculty of education sciences at the unit for Open Distance Learning