Schools conference explores sustainability

School principals, deputy principals and education experts met for a three-day conference in Rondebosh last week to discuss sustainability in education.

A three-day conference in Rondebosch last week explored sustainability in education.

The South African Girls’ School Association (SAGSA) conference ran from Wednesday May 18 to Friday May 20 at Rustenburg Girls’ High, which organised it with their junior school and Sans Souci Girls’ High School.

The conference, which drew principals and deputy principals from girls’ schools across the country as well as various education experts, was about sharing information about best practices, said the association’s president, Phillipa Erasmus.

She added: “It is heartening to hear and know that each of us is not alone in the challenges we are experiencing.”

The conference has been held virtually for the past two years because of Covid, but this time delegates were able to meet in person to discuss environmental, social, financial, human and technological sustainability in schools.

Rustenburg Girls’ High principal Michael Gates served on a panel on the Responsibility of Schools for Environmental Sustainability.

“The passionate panelists and speakers really harnessed the importance of schools working collaboratively and urged school leaders to embrace the challenges of our diverse, ever-changing world. We were reminded to lean on one another and meaningfully engage with stakeholders,” he said.

Belinda Petersen, principal of Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School served on the panel on social sustainability. She says working on the organising committee with the high school and Sans Souci had strengthened relationships between the three schools.

“Collaborating on such a massive project helped us to rely on one another’s strengths, which is the perfect example of teamwork for pupils and staff at our schools.”

Sans Souci Girls’ High acting principal Shirley Humphreys said the conference had given school leaders a chance to network and get to know one another while sharing ideas on how to tackle challenges they all faced.

Delegates visited Bo-Kaap during a tour of Cape Town.

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