October 2023.

Three high schools on the West Coast, namely Louwville High School, New Vredenburg High School and Weston Secondary School, have embarked on an exciting new three-year-long leadership programme. Designed to strengthen schools, the outcomes focus on improved discipline, enhanced school completion rates, and actively building the 21st-century skills and capabilities that the youth need to succeed in an ever-evolving world.

The programme offers an innovative and engaging developmental solution that supports youth, educators, and principals. The goal is to effectively change the lives of young people by improving their life skills, education, and vocational outcomes. The impact extends to positively influencing school culture and creating a ripple effect into homes and communities.

“By catalysing a vibrant national network of values-based leaders, whose character, purpose, and actions will contribute to the meaningful movement for change in their respective communities, we are dedicated to transforming lives and communities by awakening the leader within. This initiative is centred around four essential pillars: fostering social bonds in schools, developing leadership skills, connecting school communities, and bridging the gap between learners and future opportunities,” stated Innocent Muyanga, Columba’s DBE Manager.

Having launched earlier in the year, with a five-day intensive leadership residential academy, the initiative is aimed at empowering youth to realise their potential and become agents of positive transformation. The programme furthermore fosters the adoption of essential values and improves the transition of young learners from school to tertiary education.

Known as the ‘Columba Programme’, the initiative’s key objectives include increasing matric pass rates, access to tertiary education for learners, and improving employability. It also also strives to address learner behaviour and attitudes, by fostering positive youth transformation.

“I did not know what to expect but my experience was certainly worthwhile. I can’t help but think that if this programme had happened earlier, I could have been a much better and more effective leader and manager,” concluded New Vredenburg High School Principal.

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