Gauteng pupils learn to lead

Pretoria on MyPR: Gauteng pupils learn to lead:

(Centurion) – As South Africa struggles with its political leadership crisis, a youth-oriented initiative has been working quietly to cultivate the leadership skills that will allow the next generation to step into the breach.

The “Learners Today, Leaders Forever” conference, which took place on Saturday (October 21), saw a gathering of 150 high school pupils from Grade 7 to 12 in public and private institutions across Gauteng, including Mamelodi, Cosmo City, Olievenhoutbosch and Pretoria.

Hosted this year by the Forest Hill City mall in Centurion, the conference has impacted more than 800 pupils since its inception in 2015.

According to provincial organiser and teacher Mathibedi Medupe, the aim of the conference was to uplift high school leadership and to enhance the collective leadership skills within their schools’ learner representative councils, although pupils do not need to be part of a council to attend.

“I started this initiative two years ago because I saw the leadership crisis our country is faced with and I said to myself: ‘It all starts in the schools.’ Learners who attend the conference get to implement the leadership skills in their everyday life and with other peers at school,” said Medupe, adding that some of the previous participants had gone on to become SRC leaders in their respective universities.

“It is crucial that we nurture young leaders in such a way that they will turn out to be leaders of great character and integrity, and that they will serve the people and fully understand others. They need to be prepared for the real world that is loaded with negativity, greed, racism, sexism, politics and immorality.”

He said the programme was designed in such a way that pupils learned more about themselves and the issues of importance to their communities, and also helped them to develop their leadership potential and values by getting involved in public and community service.

A line-up of guest speakers presented on a variety of topics ranging from the qualities of a great leader to issues around gender, sexuality and religion in leadership. In addition, two high school head leaders led a panel discussion on common challenges that high schools are facing.

“It is a unique opportunity for youngsters to gain first-hand knowledge and practical skills in school-based leadership, public speaking, legislative processes and community leadership,” said Medupe.

Forest Hill City marketing manager Annah Moremela said the mall was proud to be the new, central host venue for the Gauteng-based conference.

“This is a great initiative and fits perfectly with our social investment mandate, which is to encourage and support education at all levels. Helping to shape tomorrow’s leaders has benefits for all of us.”

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. Pretoria – MyPR

About Alan

My ethos is espoused in the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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