It is an honour for Lebone II College and the North West Province to host the ISASA ECD Conference in 2017. We are excited at the prospect and can certainly promise a unique experience.
Lebone II was established to be a school that seeks to find solutions to the education challenges which we face in our semi-rural community. We find ourselves interestingly poised between the world of the privileged Independent School and the challenge of a school where large numbers of children are from very humble homes and where we seek to find ways of ‘closing the (education) gap’ that is created by poverty and
inequality. This is an interesting space in which we function, but one that is blessed with amazing opportunity.
For our staff, it is clearly an interesting journey that we are on. Simply concerning ourselves with the well-being of our own students never seems enough. Our mandate demands more. How can our practise, our own growth as educational entrepreneurs and our understanding of varying contexts in our country, have an impact on schooling beyond our physical boundary fences? This is an exhausting endeavour, but one that attracts educators who seek to have wider influence.
We have come to understand that it is through developing our own practise, and through modelling of this practise, that we have the greatest impact. Being open to many visitors, student teachers, interns, and aspiring leaders is part and parcel of a day at Lebone II.
This is the reason we offered to host the 2017 ECD Conference. Every one of us can influence education by enhancing our practise. To do this we need to work collaboratively, we need to learn from one another, we need to see new contexts. Ultimately, through being privileged to work in the Independent Schooling Sector we have the opportunity to shine our Light brightly. We know that education is in a dark space in SA – it needs us to provide the Light. What we would like to explore is ‘How can we be that Light?’ What is it that we do, that we understand about learning and development, that we can continue to enhance, but most importantly that we can share and communicate more broadly?
ISASA seeks to ensure quality education is provided to all learners. Equally we aspire to this lofty ideal. Our belief is that when we host the National ECD Conference we will shine a new Light on what is happening away from the major centres in our country. There is much good being done, and many amazingly motivated and inspiring educators. ECD is the foundation of learning. We work closely with many ECDs in our community. We are incredibly excited to provide the opportunity to bring two worlds of education together – to be a bridge between the two worlds Lebone II finds itself serving.
David du Toit