Message from our Executive Head, Mr Melvin King
Dear Lebone Community
2018 heralded a fresh chapter in my professional and family life as I, with much excitement, embarked on this new journey with the Lebone II – College of the Royal Bafokeng. I am delighted to be able to serve the community of Lebone and the Bafokeng nation, and I wish to thank you all for the opportunity you have afforded me. It is with great joy that I am able to lead this esteemed institution and professional staff team, keen and energetic students, and their families. I am committed to taking Lebone to the next level of excellence; at the same time, I shall bring my own ‘touch of change’ to the school.
I am making reference to some guiding philosophies and contextualising the kind of conversations that I am having with the staff, students, parents, board members, community members and some stakeholders of Lebone. It must be noted that this institution is rooted in the South African context and thus will typically be led by those who understand the culture the best. It is therefore imperative that all staff are empowered to be the best that they can be as we collectively work to achieve the vision and mission of the Lebone II College of the Royal Bafokeng and the dreams and intentions of the Founders of the school as envisioned by the members of the Royal Family.
I believe that it is through understanding and respect for diversity that positive social change can take place. This needs to be converted into real practice by all stakeholders within the school as we strive to become a GREAT school. Greatness in a school has little to do with the natural setting, the scenic beauty or the physical condition of the school buildings. It has everything to do with the culture of teaching and learning, the school’s ethos and culture, and the quality of human relations as reflected in the creation of a positive, safe and happy environment that nurtures all who live and work in it. At Lebone, the students in our care seem reasonably happy and appear to be enjoying their journey of learning. Our emphasis is on the holistic nature of human development and considering each student according to particular needs and strengths. If fears, prejudices and misconceptions can be conquered in childhood, we are more likely to see those children grow into respectful, compassionate and cooperative adults who will form the foundation for a more peaceful society.
Madiba is one of the greatest sons of the African soil and a global icon of leadership and reconciliation. He represents leadership with integrity, life-long learning, deep humility, a commitment to giving to others through genuine service, and a desire to become fully human by honouring the humanity of others. It is on this foundation that we must build, as we commemorate the 100th year of his birth and at the same time we are also able to celebrate 20 years of Excellence since the founding of Lebone.
The South African Constitution provides for the right of every child to be educated yet many are robbed of this chance!
Almost 12 million children are delivered into the hands of South African teachers every day. This is quite an overwhelming thought and this responsibility must be taken seriously. What a privilege this is – consider the power that schools have in shaping young minds and providing skills and opportunities through learning. At Lebone, I believe, we understand this responsibility and I trust that our commitment and dedication to our work is evident through our students’ achievements and physical, social, emotional, spiritual (values-based) and cognitive development.
Lebone should also be a place of healing and dignity; a place of learning where young men and women acquire essential knowledge and skills; a place of empowerment and encouragement, where young people are invited to find – and stretch – their potential; a place where both character and competence are developed. I believe that the development of a strong character cannot be separated from academic performance or excellence.
In my recent conversations with Mmemogolo, Mme Khumo Shongwe, the staff of the school and parents, as well as board members and stakeholders within the community of the Bafokeng, I havealluded to the prevailing Ethos and Culture at Lebone, as witnessed by myself and through my interactions with them.
As the staff of Lebone we should be taking the task of educating our students seriously and with great responsibility.
In his book “Schools that Learn”, Peter Senge describes the exciting process of schools becoming true learning organisations: places where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire; where new patterns of thinking are nurtured; and where people are continuously learning together. The fact that the school’s vision is so tangibly present in the daily life of the school reflects a deep level of commitment, from both staff and students, to the process of transformation in South Africa.
Jonathan Jansen, a social commentator and courageously outspoken academic, who is not afraid to call a “spade a spade”, says that “significance is the meaning or the consequence of your life for others”. He suggests that there are seven human qualities of critical importance in the preparation of professionals. The capacity: to care (working for others); for diligence (working hard); for efficiency (working fast); for joy (working inwards); for organisation (working smart); for anticipation (working ahead); for change (working to make a difference).
At Lebone we should be in pursuit of developing thinking, caring, happy young men and women, who understand that there is a higher purpose in life than to live for oneself! We nurture this belief in everything we do: in the way we learn, through the lessons we teach, and how we ought to meet each other with respect and dignity.
Kgosi Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi, wrote about the founding of our school: “Two central ideas emanated the design and construction of Lebone II, College of the Royal Bafokeng: Bafokeng values and world class education for all of our children. A flagship school like Lebone II, which strives to embody all that we aspire to in our 45 Bafokeng schools, thus becomes a catalyst for change.”
The Lebone II College really is a school that is ‘Alive with Possibilities’!
I believe that there is much to celebrate at the Lebone II College of the Royal Bafokeng.