Strategic Planning Workshop , Botha’s Hill 28 – 29 June 2017


Dr Bandile Mkhize (Board Chairperson) addressing staff members at the workshop


By Mauricio Langa

A clarion call has been made to St Francis College teachers to work side by side with the school stakeholders to ensure that the school remains the centre of knowledge, excellence and development of communities around Mariannhill.

Addressing school staff members at the start of a two-day Strategic Planning Workshop held at Botha’s Hill between 28 and 29 June 2017, the Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Dr Bandile Mkhize, said there was a need for teachers to work hard to maintain the good image of the teaching profession.

Staff members listen attentively to workshop proceedings

Dr Mkhize reminded all the members about the uncompromising task to preserve the legacy of the school through the unwavering spirit of hard work and the zeal for excellence in every respect.

The workshop discussed wide a range of issues pertaining to effective delivery and management, thereafter proposing solutions as well as time-frames for implementation in terms of priority of the identified challenges.

“We want to be number one amongst all the independent schools in the country,” said Dr Mkhize, adding that the school, at no single moment since its inception in 1909, did it ever become second best and that the onus was on the current staff not to slacken, thus allowing the school to drift away from its legacy of excellence under their watch.

Therefore, he pointed out that in order for the school to reclaim its former glory, it was necessary to align the school operations with the corporate culture that is driven by principles and values. For instance, and as a matter of fact, he said, big companies such as Coca-Cola were successful because they never deviate from the practice of corporate culture. On this note, the school’s corporate culture components to inculcate include: identity, values, and personnel.

Corporate culture

As far as identity was concerned, staff members were encouraged not to forget that the St Francis College they serve is a Catholic school, and that they ought to respect its ethos. Therefore, this entails the existence of a school vision and mission statement to which every staff member must identify himself or herself with and be able to answer the question: Why do we exist as St Francis College?”

On the other hand, the staff members were reminded of the fundamental role that values such as honesty and integrity have on the success of organisations or institutions. All organisations are driven by values and therefore it is imperative that all staff members uphold and live by the values that the school embraces as part of its corporate culture, in order to maintain and improve its culture of excellence.

In the same vein, the staff members were also reminded of the vital role that personnel play in advancing the objectives of any organisation as it is said ‘each organisation is as good as its people’. Suggesting that if the organisation has good people it is also a good organisation, and if it has bad people it is a bad one too.

“We want people who will fit our purpose, people who will embrace the school’s corporate culture, and people of the right attitude and good character”, said Dr Mkhize. He added that there was no staff member, who was indispensable at the school and that everyone was called to play his or her role with an unwavering spirit of hard work and the zeal to take the institution to the next level.

On a positive note, staff members present at the workshop commended in general the school management for organising such a long overdue workshop, saying that it instilled a sense of unity and working together for the common good of the school in order to maintain and even improve its legacy of excellence over the coming year. Please visit the workshop gallery here