Newspaper clipping – The Mercury – 20 January 2010

Teachers “should lead by example”

Last year, the Kwazulu-Natal Education Department’s matric intervention plan focused on the provision of learning material to schools.

However, for this year, the plan launched on Wednesday exerts extra pressure on school principals and education district managers to ensure good performance by their pupils.

The plan was launched by the KZN Education MEC Senzo Mchunu, who said the department was demanding “impact and effectiveness” from its staff.
“The province had a 61.1 percent matric pass rate last year, and how far we improve will depend on how hard we are prepared to work. One of the things that I’m planning to tell managers is that I’m no longer interested only in hard work, we now want efficiency and impact,” he said.
Mchunu said the department would also put extra pressure on principals.
“We will sit on principals in order for them to be more effective….my surprise school visits will also be increased this year. We want to see what time the principal arrives at work. You can’t earn respect if you don’t lead by example.”

Mchunu said he would check on the attendance of teachers. Items such as logbooks would be scrutinized.
“We visited a school yesterday and one teacher was absent. This, however, wasn’t reflected in the school’s logbook and that’s where loopholes are created.

Schools, regardless of their performance, would be required to craft individual plans of how they would improve their performance. The plans would be assessed and monitored by district managers.