After 30 years of service in the Eastern Cape Department of Education, Mr. Loyiso Mbinda who has been a Circuit Manager between the period of 2010-2016 bows out with honor and dignity.
In a farewell function held at Cofimvaba, colleagues,friends and family gathered to celebrate and send off their anchor, pillar,mentor, father and friend who was described as a man of honor, integrity, self-control, self-discipline, selflessness and an incorruptible seed. Those who had an opportunity to work with him spoke of a man who is passionate about education, has good human relations, grounded in principles and a visionary.
During his tenure as a Circuit Manager he boasts many accolades and success stories that have contributed in the development and transformation of a better education environment in that area. All his efforts were motivated by the drive to improve and offer excellent service delivery. It is then worth mentioning those that stood out and became a driving force in that circuit:
- 1. Opening a Circuit Cheque Account for extra-curricular activities
- 2. Circuit development account for fund raising teacher development
- 3. Establishment of Curriculum Management Committee that meets quarterly
- 4. Quarterly meetings of SGB Chairpersons
- 5. 89.9% pass rate of grade R-11 in 2015
- 6. Successful participation of Circuit in National Teaching Awards yearly
- 7. Gender balance amongst principals of the Circuit
- 8. Organized funds from the National Lottery for sport equipment for schools
- 9. Successfully secured a site where a library will be built
- 10. Sucessfully enabled HSRC to research
- 11. Produced Provincial champs amongst teachers
- 12. Successfully established circuit procurement and circuit welfare for SGB’s
- 13. Ensure circuit results are presented to all stakeholders at end of each quarter
- 14. Recordeding highest attendance by both learners and teachers each term
- 15. Improved grade 12 overall circuit results from 28% in 2009 to 63% in 2016
- 16. Undertook tour to high performing Gauteng West District to copy best practices.
This event was graced with the presence of high profile and notable dignitaries. Amongst those in attendance was Chief NgangomhlabaMatanzima, Chairman of the Eastern Cape House of Traditional Leaders (ECHTL) who in his speech highlighted the thought of radical transformation Economy in the context of education.
Communications got an opportunity to speak to His Highness and had this to say about the state of education in the Eastern Cape:
We must admit that there is a problem in the Province, each year grade 12 results appear at the bottom of the list which is a concern for me as a traditional leader.
He mentioned with great distress how the Eastern Cape had been at the forefront in terms of leadership and education before the attainment of freedom. He then urged all those concerned to find solutions that will assist the Province, but this must be done after honest introspection has been done in identifying the root cause of the dire situation the province found itself in.
Politicians and intellectuals must come together and be honest to say what is the problem and what can we do to solve these challenges.
He also expressed concern about the closure of schools in rural areas due to lack of teachers and few numbers of school going learners in some areas. Saying that “it is painful to see schools that were built by parents closing down as these parents built these schools so that their children can easily access the education they themselves never had an opportunity to receive.
surely this cannot be the radical transformation Economy we are talking about when services are not brought closer to the people,”cthese were his sentiments as he spoke on the transportation challenges that rural areas are facing when transporting learners to different schools. He also said that “this raises the question of discipline and culture”.
Children are losing out on the culture of the home due to the long distances they have to travel to school, waking up very early to leave for school and coming back home very late with little time to interact with family.” He urged the Department to hold consultations with traditional leaders so that all stakeholders can have inputs on what is happening in education and come up with solutions that will take this provinceto go forward.He also advised that the Department should perhaps look at the thought of decentralization of powers and relinquish some authority to Districts.
It was not only the words of the Chief that struck a cord and resonated in the minds of attendees but former Head of Eastern Cape Department of Education, Mr. Mthunywa Ngonzo who was a guest speaker at this event. He gave a sterling keynote address that focused on knowing your purpose, becoming agents of social change and the journey to power and greatness.
He said that the Education system is about how do we give people power such that at the end of the day they grow to maturity and be great in the nation.” Therefore, asking the question, what is the purpose of the education system which is comprised of the school, SGB, the principal, the becomes critical. “Always strive to master your purpose and put yourself in a position and status thereof, such that you are away from abuse,”he said this as he spoke of earning respect through knowing your purpose.
Speaking on the purpose of education, he highlighted these three aspects:
- Teaching learners on how to live their own lives
- Develop the minds of learners
- Prepare learners to reshape the realities of their lives
He further professed that, education works when leaders understand and realize that they have a responsibility to turn around the minds of other people. This will require that leaders be passionate about succeeding and have clarity of purpose.
Quoting the words of Isaac, he said, It takes one spark to begin the process of change.” Through influence and commitment this spark turns into a flame and later into a raging fire that changes the landscape for others