INTERVIEW WITH DAAN POTGIETER, PRINCIPAL OF HOËRSKOOL WATERKLOOF: A Public School That Has Produced 100% Pass Rate For 27 Consecutive Years
As much as education is a constitutional right, quality education in South Africa is still regarded as a privilege. The absence of leadership in schools only worsens the situation -specifically where support and the shortage of resources remains a burning issue. We found a spark of hope; an exemplary public school that has taken it upon itself to develop its own additional learning systems to eradicate the lack of modernization in the public
Daan Potgieter has led this school in Pretoria for the last 7 years, continuing with its 27-year tradition of 100% annual matric pass rates. We visited to learn and found his secret is in the teaching philosophy, teacher development, and innovative leadership.
Thank you for speaking to us Daan
It's only a pleasure!
What do you enjoy the most about your role as
The variety, the daily challenges, the innovation opportunities in education, the development of young impressionable minds, and the satisfaction every success story holds.
You’ve been principal here for the past 7 years, what has been your key challenges?
In Afrikaans there is an old adage ‘Elke man
Even though the process was slow, as you know people are creatures of habit, it has since delivered various successes, and the results of strategies implemented over the past 7 years are visible in a variety of the school’s projects, strategies, procedures
Your school has consistently produced
Passion, Knowledge, clear vision and objectives, drive and perseverance!
You were a history teacher and then Deputy Principal before becoming a Principal; how has this influenced your leadership style?
There is a myriad of lessons to be
While we are still on leadership, do you think it’s important to expose learners to leadership roles at an early stage to open their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills?
Of course! All learners should be afforded the opportunity to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills as this, in turn, will develop their leadership skills. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are, however, not only needed in a leadership capacity, but will be some of the skills required to survive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution according to a survey done by Mr Klaus Schwab, chairperson of the World Economic Forum.
As a public school, one would assume that you have a shortage of resources -how do you approach this challenge? I think that with the current economic situation in the country, and for that matter the world. The shortage of resources has only taught us how to be more resourceful and innovative. We have a goal and responsibility and we will achieve it within our means and ability – whatever it takes!
What kind of support do you think the public education sector needs from the government to improve the systems and schooling conditions outside of what has already been done in the past?
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