A PROGRAMME worth R9 million is set to improve the lives of pupils in rural schools.

The Penreach Courageous Leadership Development Programme focuses on developing Mpumalanga’s school principals and management teams.

“Penreach, in partnership with the Mpumalanga Department of Education, The Roger Federer Foundation and Performance Solutions Africa have joined hands for the next three years to make the project a success,” said Penreach CEO, Andile Ncontsa.

Ncontsa said that the initiative hopes to overhaul the management of schools in the Malalane and Khulangwane Circuits of Ehlanzeni District.

“Research has consistently indicated that there is a close link between the performance of principals and their schools.

“There are significant numbers of members who want to improve performance in their schools but lack the skills, tools and support,” he said.

Programmes which link training to individual coaching and mentoring around defined and applied outcomes have had impressive impacts in the private sector.

At the launch, speaker of Mpumalanga’s legislature, Thandi Shongwe, said: “This programme makes an important contribution to the improvement and management of our primary schools. It shows that government, working together with civil society and the private sector, can do more to move Mpumalanga forward when responding to our development challenges.”

Nkomazi mayor, Thulisile Khoza, welcomed the programme to their municipality.

“Our children are the future of this country. We all have a non-negotiable responsibility to contribute our efforts to make sure our schools are functional and have the relevant materials for teaching and learning,” said Khoza. – AENS