Intshinga Primary School, Mrs Vuyo Vinqi’s alma mater, had a vacancy for a principal ship post in 2010. She applied so that she could give back to the community where she had her roots. The message she wished to convey to those she grew up with was “WE CAN”. Her fervent desire was, and still is, to make a difference to her learners and the community of Gugulethu. She finds different ways to encourage her learners and their parents to commit to their education regardless of their circumstances at home.
In her 6th year as the principal at Intshinga Primary she considers the major highlights to be:
The warm and welcoming support she receives from parents.
The respect and assistance she received from her ex-teachers who were still at the school when she took her position as principal.
The warmth, support and understanding she receives from her staff at large.
She said, “Our staffroom is filled with laughter and a happy group of teachers.” This has a ripple effect because learners at the school are always happy.
Many improvements have developed at the school since her appointment. The atmosphere has become more positive and the culture of the school is more task focused. LITNUM results are improving yearly. The appearance of the school was improved by painting and getting local gardening projects to use available spaces. Numbers of learners have increased because she and her staff are continuously creating trust and transparency which leads parents to choose Intshinga Primary as the school for their children.
Mrs Vinqi considers the partnership with Edupeg to be most valuable because some challenges at the school have been overcome. Having mentors in the classrooms has helped to improve lesson presentation skills of the teachers.
Mentored teachers have benefited because of the resource kits that were given to them and the availability and maximal use of resources is most welcomed. The Teach Like a Champion (TLAC) afternoon workshops for the entire staff have created awareness and classroom discipline has improved in those classrooms where the techniques are consistently implemented. Teachers are more focused and look closely at their learners and their work. Mrs Vinqi is happy to note that the atmosphere is very calm and classes settle quicker than they did before.
She will never forget the difference she witnessed at her school the morning after the first workshop. She was amazed at the discipline the teachers achieved as they greeted their learners at the door and introduced them to entry routines. Teachers were collectively enthusiastic about the techniques they had been introduced to. The teachers who are happy to implement the techniques get her full support and together they are trying to encourage all the teachers to adopt them. It is her desire to strengthen the use of these techniques so that the results at the school can continue to improve and to also maximise time on task.
She believes that teachers who are supported by the Edupeg mentors have grown personally and professionally. Presentations of lessons and classroom management have improved and great strides have been achieved by teachers in their first year of teaching. The success story of Ms Ntshiba is a great example of a teacher who overcame a challenging first year under the mentorship of Sylvie Moodley.
Mrs Vinqi has been instrumental in the Edupeg mentors being able to achieve their objectives. She has been supportive and hands on from the outset and her calm and serene disposition never waivers. Her welcoming smile and balanced nature have helped to overcome challenges at the school. Her positive attitude towards the intervention definitely encourages progress. Her compassion for the learners and the fact that she always gives them top priority is greatly admired.
Mrs Vinqi is an excellent example of what the Father of the Nation, Nelson Mandela, implied in his famous words: “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same.”