The world is changing and you need to send your children to a school that will prepare them for the changes. Children need to learn to be independent and creative thinkers who will be at the forefront of Africa’s technological evolution and lead with the collective in mind. Invest in your child’s future by being intentional about finding the right school for them. The right school is one that encourages self-development and collaboration, and it equips children to be innovators and leaders.

Here are a few things to look out for when looking at schools at which to enrol your children.

 

Does the curriculum incorporate technology and innovation?

With the advancement of technology occurring at such a rapid pace, learners need to be equipped to be innovative and to contribute to technological developments. Learners need to be taught to be creators of new technologies, not just mere consumers. Curricula that incorporate technology broaden the learner’s mind and develop the creative part of their brain. Moreover, children will be empowered to be creators of their own opportunities instead of waiting for opportunities to be presented to them. We need an education that goes being training your child to know things; learners must be taught to generate impactful ideas.

 

Does the school place a strong emphasis on self-development?

Your children need to be at schools that will help them develop a greater sense of self-efficacy, which will build the confidence they need to be innovators, forward-thinkers and leaders.

Self-development also entails teaching learners to be self-aware in a way that:

  • helps them manage their emotions;
  • makes them aware of their boundaries (and empowers them to be vocal about them);
  • enables them to be gentle with themselves when faced with a challenge that requires more resources than they have.

Self-development gives learners the courage to have a vision, set goals and believe that they have the capability to achieve that which they set their eyes on. It is also about being patient with one’s journey of growth.

Does the school prioritise leadership development?

It is a known fact that Africa is a gerontocracy, i.e. many of the individuals who occupy leadership positions are significantly older than the majority. The continent needs young leaders who will be able to relate to the majority of the population, which is mostly young. Additionally, we need leaders who have the vigour required to advance Africa’s development, particularly where technology and socio-economics are concerned. Young people are adept at keeping abreast of critical global changes; we need leadership that takes these changes into consideration and can expedite Africa’s involvement. As noted by Graça Machel in a message delivered at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Africa Leadership Academy, “Africa does not need leaders who are 75 or 65 years old. We need leaders who are young, vibrant and innovative.”

 

“Quality education is fundamental to developing effective leadership.” – Chinezi Chijioke, founder of Nova Pioneer.

 

To echo the words of Fred Swaniker, founder of the African Leadership Academy, “Great leaders aren’t born—they are made.” When deciding on a school for your children, find out about the school’s approach to leadership development. Schools need to be intentional about teaching learners to be leaders who will move the continent forward. Servant leadership is important—it is imperative that learners are taught to lead with integrity and with the collective in mind. Additionally, every child must be given the opportunity to be a leader; leadership must not only be reserved for the select few who become prefects. Send your child to a school that empowers your child by helping them believe that they CAN be a leader.

 

Are learners taught the importance of collaboration?

Teaching methods that encourage collaborative work help learners understand that nothing can be achieved alone—teamwork makes the dream work. Collaboration teaches the learner to open their mind to other people’s perspectives, exposes them to different points of view and, most importantly, teaches them to listen. Moreover, learners will begin to realise that everyone has something valuable to bring to the table.