Vivienne Murray, Multotec Group Marketing Manager, was honoured with the opportunity to act as one of the business partners in the Partners for Possibility (PFP) programme, for the 2020/2021 cycle. Multotec contributes to this programme, each year.
PFP engages business leaders and school principals with the aim of developing their leadership skills in co-learning and co-action partnerships. The programme is a carefully designed, 12-month leadership development programme. Much of the learning and development takes place while business leaders and school principals work together in partnership to address challenges in schools. Both partners attend leadership training courses and facilitated sessions with other principals and business leaders. Through this process, principals are empowered to embed their schools at the centre of their communities and to improve the quality of education being offered to our youth.
While many principals have been outstanding educators and perhaps have inherent leadership potential, many have not been equipped with the skills they need to fulfil a leadership role that is critically important and extremely challenging. Meeting this need for skills development is a mammoth task, but it is not insurmountable if the private sector offers its expertise and support. Without skilled leadership, schools cannot provide the quality of education that gives young South Africans the opportunity to become productive members of society.
“My partner this past year has been the fabulous Mr Thomas Mathavha, school principal of Mvelephanda Primary School in Thembisa. Mvelephanda is a Section 22 school, with 1200 Venda-speaking pupils from a broad geographic base which includes Thembisa, Midrand and Germiston,” says Murray.
“It’s a wonderful school full of colour, energy and love. Under Mr Mathavha’s leadership, the school has a number of successful projects under its belt. Naturally, the biggest challenge for schools over the past 18 months has been the Covid crisis and this school has certainly had many obstacles to overcome. The school services a very poor community and the reality is that there are just not enough devices, resources or tools for online learning. They have had to work around triple shifts and staggered learning programmes. This is massively stressful and a huge work burden for the teachers and administrators alike,” elaborates Murray.
During the past year, Murray has been included in some of the school’s projects. Their corporate sponsor, Saint-Gobain, has committed to a 5-year investment programme which includes projects such as new classrooms, bathroom upgrades, playground upgrades and veggie gardens.
“The PFP programme has given both Mr Mathavha and myself the opportunity to attend training on The Thinking Environment, Community Building and Flawless Consulting. These valuable skills improve the basis on which constructive stakeholder relationships are built in a productive and sustainable way,” says Murray.
Multotec’s contribution to the programme has two components: the first is the financial contribution to the programme, which covers the costs of all the training programmes. The second is the time and service of the business leader partner (this year, Murray has fulfilled this role).
“Covid has certainly limited a lot of the interaction that may have taken place between us but I have already committed to upholding the beautiful friendship and mentorship that Mr Mathaya and I have developed this year. I look forward to our maintained support of each other into the future,” says Murray.