South Africa: SA, China Strengthen Cooperation in Education

A total of 25 principals are sharing and engaging on best practice in the schooling environment with their Chinese counterparts in Shanghai, China.

The engagement forms part of the Department of Basic Education's empowerment initiative for school managers, in partnership with the government of China through the East China Normal University's (ECNU) International Centre for Teacher Education.

ECNU's Dr Peng Liping said the presence of school principals from South Africa in China would further promote the bilateral relationship and cooperation between the two countries and the friendship will enhance more opportunities in the future.

"The discussions on topics such as 'how to be a school principal today, teacher professionalisation and quality assurance' shall enable you to better understand what we have learned about China and its basic education, and facilitate dialogue and discussions with your counterparts in school in Shanghai. You will also share ideas on how to be better school principals," said Peng.

The South African school principals represent all provinces and were selected from primary and secondary schools in rural areas as well as urban regions of the country.

The school principals and the DBE officials will this week also attend the Biennial Conference of International Confederation of Principals from 23 to 25 October in Shanghai.

DBE Director-General Mathanzima Mweli will address the conference during the three-day programme.

The leader of the delegation, James Ndlebe, said the visit to China is extremely beneficial.

"The international conference coming up this week will add to an already hectic schedule but it will be extremely beneficial because we will have principals from around the world gathering under one roof to discuss issues affecting them and the work they do.

"More principals from South Africa, together with provincial officials, will join the [biennial] conference when it commences on Wednesday," he said.

Ndlebe emphasised the need for the exposure to benefit not only the school principals but the schools and communities they serve.

The visit to China by the DBE officials and school principals is part of the implementation of a country level agreement entered into between China and South Africa more than six years ago.

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