INTERVIEW WITH PRINCIPAL / RECTOR THANGITHINI JULIET ARYETEY, ELANGENI TVET COLLEGE
HOW HAS GENDER EMPOWERMENT STRENGTHENED YOUR ORGANISATION?
I believe that a woman’s voice and her capacity to become a leader in her community is fundamental to strengthening other women. To prove this and overcome many general barriers to a woman’s success, Elangeni TVET College aims to increase participation by women in support, academic and management positions throughout the college.
One of the key strategies of the college is to change how women are seen in the corporate environment and by empowering them in leadership roles within the institution, they will be seen as agents of change; currently there are twenty-three women appointed in senior positions.
To address gender based violence and the needs of its women staff and students, the senior management team has provided a platform in the form of an annual Summit Against Gender Based Violence (GBV) established in 2019. In addition to this the college partnered with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Community Safety and Liaison to address gender based violence on 5 March near the college’s Inanda campus.
WHAT TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS ARE YOU USING IN YOUR ORGANISATION TO KEEP IN LINE WITH THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION?
The college’s vision for the 4th industrial revolution is to equip our students to have the necessary skills and knowledge, to be able to add value to their communities as well as the global markets.
The college’s 4IR strategy has embarked on introducing Cloud and collaborative technologies within the institution’s operations as well as to our students. We have positioned our digital and technological roadmap to prepare us for the dynamic changes that come with the 4th industrial revolution.
Some of the technologies introduced include online registration and assessments for students, Cloud technologies for business applications and communication as well as other online systems to reduce printed paper thus limiting our carbon footprint. We believe that in order to embrace the rapidly changing digital trends, we need to live and breathe 4IR.
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT AND FUTURE TRENDS IN YOUR SECTOR?
The current trend of the TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) sector is that it is faced with a greater need to re-evaluate its offering to be able to respond to the changing needs of the society.
This process calls for extensive development and the revision of its curriculum offering since the introduction of NCV qualification in 2007. Future trends in the TVET sector involve the quality of programmes offered by an institution (both public and private), in line with the needs of labour market and those of society.
This is going to be the most important criterion for choice between institutions and the quality of students the institution can attract. This is due to a decline in the belief that education or some qualifications can improve one’s socio-economic status.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU THINK LEADERS OF THE FUTURE ARE GOING TO NEED?
To be a successful leader, you must be able to understand and manage the emotions and feelings of your followers. To be able to do this, you must have emotional intelligence. It’s not just about having empathy towards your staff – it involves being able to relate to employees on all levels and by understanding how your staff can be motivated, how leaders can adjust to different communication styles and approaches to better manage their staff.
Future leaders should also have technology management skills that encompass the knowledge and experience needed to perform specified, detailed tasks. By possessing these skills, leaders will be able to co-ordinate work, become an expert in problem solving, communicate effectively and of course promote the use of technology in any front line work that must be performed
PLEASE DESCRIBE THE COLLEGE’S SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY INITIATIVES:
The college commemorates Mandela Month instead of only observing Mandela Day on 18 July. During this time, we are involved in community outreach projects in nearby catchment areas such as Ndwedwe (Ilembe District), eThekwini municipality and surrounding areas. These activities include rebuilding infrastructure of school buildings in the form of painting, planting of trees (decreasing global warming) and the donation of clothing and food supplies to rural communities.
WHICH FEMALE LEADERS INSPIRE YOU THE MOST AND WHY?
A female leader who inspires me is one of the most admired women in our country: Thuli Madonsela. Firstly, she has made an undeniable mark, not just in terms of her career but from her humble beginnings to her rise in becoming an inspiring, powerful woman in democracy. I find it easy to identify with Madonsela as women often have to try on different roles to determine which fits best for their life and family but she has defied both age and gender stereotypes to achieve success in her professional and personal life.
Her ability to speak publicly with dignity and grace captivates me and I hope that in the near future I am personally able to experience one of her talks.
As a public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) provider, Elangeni College for TVET strives to be a self-reliant Technical and Vocational Education and Training College that provides meaningful education and training. Support is given to lifelong learning and students are taught by trained assessors and moderators who ensure quality delivery in an assortment of subject fields. The programmes offered are customised and responsive to the needs of learners and industry; the careers they encourage are essential for the economic upliftment of the South African economy. Public TVET Colleges play a catalytic role in the economic empowerment of people by providing relevant education and training. Elangeni TVET College provides integrated theoretical and practical experience to the community at the following eight campuses:
FIVE TIPS ON SURVIVING AND THRIVING IN BUSINESS
- LISTEN WITH 100 PERCENT FOCUSED ATTENTION
- CONSISTENTLY FOCUS ON THE “WE,” NOT “ME”
- BE PROFESSIONAL
- MOVE FROM LEADING TASKS TO MANAGING RELATIONSHIPS
- SHOW APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE