More than 100 principals, educational leaders, staff members and representatives from Government met on 11 October to discuss the Professional Course for Educational Leaders (PCEL).
The Department of Education Management and Policy Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Pretoria has initiated the development of a context-specific online continuous professional development course for educational leaders at all levels.
Inspired by the Policy on the South African Standard for Principalship and the Five-Year Strategic Plan 2015/16-2019/20 of the Department of Basic Education, the development of this course is a collaborative effort by Prof Johan Beckmann and Mr André du Plessis from the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies at the Faculty of Education, UP. Also participating was Prof Jukka Alava from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and [email protected] The course offers a contextually intelligent training programme for educational leaders and aspiring leaders and draws from international and South African expertise and experience in educational leadership and management development. It provides participants with the latest theoretical insights and opportunities for reflecting and designing context specific home-grown solutions to challenges.
Prof Chika Sehoole, Dean, opened the event. Learning from the successful Finish educational model The Ambassador of Finland, Kari Alanko expressed his gratitude towards the University for the new programme. He also explained why so many people are learning from the successful Finish educational model. At the launch of the online programme for educational leaders, Mr Kari Alunko, Ambassador of the Finnish Embassy, shared his thoughts on the educational model in Finland.
“During the 12 months that I have so far been Ambassador of Finland to South Africa, I have constantly come across people who are very interested in the Finnish educational model. I have had the chance to speak about our basic education system and to meet with researchers in the field of teacher training,” he said. “I think it is fair to say that the Finnish education system produces excellent results. In the OECD Programme for International Student Assessments (PISA), Finland has in the past few years been among the top performers among nations in reading, mathematics and science skills. “
“Most importantly, the results are uniform across the country and schools. No matter how small a rural school you attend, you will most likely have an excellent teacher and the opportunity to continue to tertiary education.“ “We have received a lot of international interest and visitors in Finland in the past few years investigating how we have managed this. The Finnish school was not always that great. The change started in the 1970s when a previously two-tier system was merged, and much of private and state-run schools were transformed into municipal schools.” Mr Alunko emphasised that the co-operation between Finland and South Africa, which has led to the Professional Course for Educational Leaders, was a pivotal step in the progression of education in South Africa.
Prof Johan Beckmann and Mr André du Plessis from the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies discussed the development process of the programme as well as the final product. Prof Everard Weber, Head of the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies, made a summary of the programme and the impact it will have