High riding school principal applauded for global feat

Benson Ntlemo

Limpopo school principal Dr. Ngwako Stephen Sebopetsa who has won the global competition has been applauded for his achievement.

Sebobetsa principal of Rathaga primary school in Rakwadu 1 Circuit has won the Global Principals award for excellent leadership acumen, winners’ spirit, significant work and contribution in education.

The high riding school principal with late minister Jacksin Mthembi at an event in Emalahleni

The global competition aims to reach out to all corners of the world and recognize leaders who stand out as exceptional and have demonstrated excellence in leading their schools and also made contributions in their communities.

Limpopo MEC for education Polly Boshielo hailed Sebopetsa for his achievement.

“This is itself an affirmation that we have outstanding people in our province,” she said.

Saying that he was deserving of the award, Boshielo said Sebopetsa strove for success against odds and raised the flag high.

The CEO of the South African Council for Educators Ellah Mokgalane hailed the Limpopo principal for his success.

“Your award is reflective of your hard work, selflessness and fearless spirit,” she said.

She said in winning the competition, Sebopetsa raised the South African flag very high and did the teaching profession proud.

The first child of Maria and Gilbert (both deceased) he was born in 1960 at Bolobedu South in Tzaneen area but grew up at Sekhiming village.

He became a teacher after being influenced by his father who was in the profession.

After passing grade 12 in 1980 and he had a break for a year before deciding to follow the teaching profession because of the influence of his father.

“My father was everything in Sekhiming village, that is teacher, priest and social worker,” he said outlining the background under which he was raised.

After registering to train as a teacher at Modjadji College in 1992, he  completed his diploma in 1984.

Dr Sebopetsa the Limpopo Limpopo principal who is the best in the world

He started in 1985 at Bakenberg Secondary School in Waterberg before coming back home to Bolobedu and worked as a teacher at Mampeule Secondary and Makhupele secondary.

Because of his hard work he was promoted to be head of department in 1990.

At the time he was teaching Mathematics and Science. 

Not so long thereafter he I was appointed as a principal at Lekukela Primary School and later appointed at Motupakgomo Primary School from 2006 to 2012.

In 2013, the Department of Education seconded him to Matome-Modika Secondary School as caretaker principal mandated to turn the school from serial underperformance to functional school.

He succeeded as the school’s results improved from 25% to 75%.

This was attributed to his effective leadership and management skills.

“I am presently at Rathaga Primary School where a practice my leadership and management skills to the best of my ability, “he said.

He says what works for him is his personal relationship with colleagues, SGB and the department of education which he says is perfect.

“I am happy because even SGB members treat me as their mentor since they offer me an opportunity to interact with them in both educational and social life,” he said.

He says conflicts are resolved in a school situation in such a way that they are satisfied and all parties of the conflict are satisfied.

“That means my conflict resolution mechanism assist me to ensure that all parties to be satisfied. The school has Code of Conduct adopted by all stake-holders where problems such as bullying are addressed.” he said.

He attributes the winning of the Global Principals Awards because of excellent school leadership and management skills.

Because of the condusive environment at the school, enrolment of learners have improved from 550 in the past five years to 800 leaners now.

The doctor has completed his Doctor of Education degree in management from the University of Venda.

He has a total of five degrees and 5 diplomas.

He also has many certificates.

He has authored the book “Communication with myself” as well as many articles used by universities. He has been awarded many times by schools, communities, Universities, Department of Education and Trade Unions.

He is presently on the verge of completing his LLB (law) degree with Unisa.

He is also  working as Campus co-ordinator with University of the Free State on part-time basis where they teach qualified teachers to become specialists.

There is no doubt that although he has won the global award now, he has for a long time been useful to education and it was long overdue that credit is finally given where it is due.

Leave a Reply