Through his new role as MRP Foundation Schools mentor, Mr Khumalo, the former principal of Zilungisele Primary School and respected leader will be imparting his knowledge and experience to guide low income schools to success. Photograph: MRP Foundation / Pierre Tostee.
Recently retired principal Mr Khumalo is excited to share his decades of educational experience and know-how through his new role as a mentor, where he’ll be coaching principals on school management to add value to both learners and educators from five MRP Foundation Schools in low income areas in KwaDukuza, KwaZulu-Natal.
A pillar of wisdom and strength in the KwaDukuza schooling community Mr Khumalo has had a remarkable schooling career spanning 35 years. He’s twice acted as principal of Zilungisele Primary School and been promoted to Acting Deputy Chief Education Specialist at Stanger Circuit, all while continuing to advocate for quality education that puts learners’ needs first.
When Zilungisele Primary School joined the MRP Foundation Schools programme in 2010 Mr Khumalo immediately embraced the holistic education model that focuses on learner and educator development. As part of the programme learners have the opportunity to explore arts and culture, technology-based learning and physical education while educators receive regular support through training and mentorship.
With Mr Khumalo’s enthusiastic attitude combined with sustained and strategic support from the MRP Foundation Schools programme the low-income school now shines as a beacon of hope on KwaDukuza’s rolling hills, demonstrating how solid management and a passion for education can lead to a quality schooling.
Mr Khumalo explains how: “I’ve seen a tremendous improvement in the schools. Before the programme started at Zilungisele Primary School we couldn’t use computers but now everything, including daily preparation, is done with computers. The learners use it for maths, science, searching for information. Technology in schools has changed the lives of learners.
MRP Foundation Schools programme also did a great thing by reskilling the teachers in their learning areas, particularly Maths and English, which has improved classroom practice tremendously. Now teachers are arriving to class with pride, better equipped to deliver lessons. In future, we will have empowered learners who are critical thinkers instead of learners that just regurgitate knowledge.”
Mr Khumalo is eager to explore his new role as a MRP Foundation Schools mentor where he believes he’ll have the chance to reach his full potential: “Partnering with the MRP Foundation has given me new challenges and I feel I’m already contributing positively to the five MRP Foundation schools.”
Highly respected in the community the family man has also found time over the years to explore his other passions including playing soccer on a semi-professional level, achieving a green belt in karate and recording seven gospel albums.
“My dream is to transform these schools to be well managed by principals so that they lead their schools in the right direction. I can contribute to the betterment of our education and reignite the love of the teaching profession despite the fact that there are challenges. A school can be poor in terms of infrastructure but if it's strong with curriculum delivery than that school is successful.”
It’s through dedicated educators like Mr Khumalo that MRP Foundation can contribute to a brighter South Africa where young people break the cycle of poverty and inequality.