On Saturday, 22 July 2017 the Awards Ceremony for the 2016 cohort of the Mpumalanga Department of Education PMDP participants was held at the Cyril Clarke Secondary School in Mbombela. The Ceremony was attended by approximately 600 Principals, Deputy Principals and Heads of Department from the 315 participating PMDP schools.
Dr T T Bhengu, representing the University of KwaZulu-Natal, welcomed the participants in a warm address.
While both the MEC for Education in the Province (The Honourable Ms Makgabo Reginah Mhaule), and the Deputy Director General (Ms Lucy Moyane), experienced last-minute circumstances which prevented them from attending the Ceremony, they were very ably represented by the Chief Director: Curriculum, Mr Mkhwanazi and the Director: Teacher Development and Governance, Dr N Mthethwa respectively.
In her reflection on the PMDP, Dr Mthethwa commented that:
‘The model of the programme is very, very strong… a great strength is working in partnerships – we have been given the opportunity to work side by side on this programme… we began to speak from one script. There has been a deep sense of being solution driven here.
The programme has had a very strong research base, which to us is a plus… When reflecting, we are looking at systemic capacity building that has been imparted.’
Mr Mkhwanazi, in his address, which included a message from the MEC, spoke about the impact of the PMDP, with particular reference to Curriculum Management:
‘From today we will pay particular interest in the PMDP from Curriculum… You cannot separate the performance of a school from its management.
In reading from the MEC’s address, he quoted as follows:
‘I also want to commend the working relationship with the University of KwaZulu-Natal as I appreciate the immense role of private/public partnerships which we have… It is my conviction therefore that empowering school SMTs strengthens not only the school but the community and society, now in the present and in the future’.
Mr Mkhwanazi concluded by commenting as follows:
‘For the first time in this Province we have had the tools to monitor Curriculum…
The PMDP training and coaching methodology is one of the tools at the disposal of the Department to eradicate dysfunctional schools.’
In concluding the proceedings, Mr D Govender, partner from PwC, offered words of thanks to all those who had contributed to the success of this cohort of participants from Mpumalanga.