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HISTORIC SCHOOLS RESTORATION PROJECT

Towards Centres of Cultural and Educational Excellence


Annual Reports

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2013/14
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THEMBILE SKWEYIYA
Chairperson: HSRP Board

A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRPERSON

Having worked in an attorney's office, as an advocate and a judge for over fifty years, I am accustomed to asking pertinent and often uncomfortable questions. Now in my retirement, I also have the luxury to wonder and ponder on some of life's more abstruse questions.

As I re-read the HSRP's Vision and Mission statements I reflected on the relevance of educational and cultural excellence in today's society. How does one determine excellence and how is it measured? As an alumnus with proud memories of Healdtown's rich legacy it occurred to me that there are a number of non-negotiables when we define excellence in schools and three themes emerged.

Holistic development: In an excellent institution excellence permeates the entire school community. It never surfaces in the telling only in the showing and, if we do not clearly define excellence it becomes impossible to achieve it. We need to build upon expectations high enough to live up to a child's potential. Success means developing character and enriching minds so that children are well prepared for tertiary education, career and life.

Ethical leadership: Schools should operate with integrity, accountability and a passion for academic excellence. They should provide safe, ethical, joyful cultures of learning where both educators and learners alike can thrive and grow. School management bodies must ensure that schools operate within their means and that all resources are used to benefit the learners' education. Stewarding public funds optimizes fully enrolled and economically sustainable schools.

A positive environment: A highly effective school results from a rigorous academic programme. A learner's progress towards proficiency and beyond is the most accurate indicator of a school's strength. Learners grow in their ability to successfully meet their goals as they practice integrity and diligence. Educators should provide a positive learning environment by working closely with parents and guardians to fulfil a collaborative responsibility for the academic and personal growth of their children.

Whilst visiting the campuses, I have witnessed how the HSRP contributes to the growth and development of the historic schools and their communities and supports the schools by manifesting strong, outward-looking relations with the alumni, partners and sponsors who are keen to restore the schools to their former glory.

As you read this report you will get a clearer and a richer understanding of the significant progress the HSRP has made in the past year towards educational and cultural excellence at the historical schools.

2013/14

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