School of Education

School of Education Hosts 18th Annual Masakhane Youth Leadership Course

The School of Education, in partnership with the Community Development Association (CDA), a student-run community outreach organisation, hosted the 18th annual Masakhane Youth Leadership Course (MYLC) for Grade 11 learners from predominantly disadvantaged schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Participants enjoyed enriching activities and teaching from some of the University’s best academics during the week-long course. Topics included democratic participation, conflict management, managing and embracing diversity, transformative leadership, decolonisation, youth activism and entrepreneurship.

‘The MYLC not only trains potential South African leaders for their leadership roles in schools, but also equips them for such positions in the future – a crucial approach given South Africa’s current youth leadership crisis,’ said School of Education Dean and Head, Professor Thabo Msibi.

Mr Mthobisi Shobhede, CEO of CDA Edgewood said, ‘MYLC fosters growth and development in schools to promote equitable distribution of resources, skills, expertise and experience to learners, teachers and schools in KwaZulu-Natal and the University at large, as well as to respond to the notion of Ubuntu.’

PhD student and youth activist, Mr Lukhona Mnguni presented an introductory session on leadership.  He emphasised that, ‘leaders should have the ability to report back to the people that they are leading.’ Lecturer, Professor Thamsanqa Thulani Bhengu’s input on conflict management noted that, while ‘conflict forms part of our daily life and cannot be wished away; it provides opportunities to learn.’

Mr Luthando Shandu, a learner from Ngono Secondary School in Nkandla, said that he learned a great deal. ‘I have learned so much from everybody here and have also made some new friends. Attending the panels and hearing the speakers made me feel I can make a difference in my community,’ he said.

Ms Kwanele Hlophe from Pinetown Girls High said, ‘The Leadership Course has motivated me to work harder and taught me how to be an effective leader in my school and my community. The issues discussed were relevant to us and I will go back and share them with others.’

Having completed the course, the learners are expected to launch social responsibility projects in their respective schools with the help of UKZN students that mentored them throughout the course.

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