School leaders across Mauritius have benefitted from an "innovative and valuable" three-day Commonwealth training programme.
Delivered by the Commonwealth Secretariat in collaboration with the country's Ministry of Education and Professor Kabini Sanga, Associate Professor, Victoria University of Wellington and a Pacific Senior Fellow in Leadership, the workshop was designed to upskill and support at least 75 secondary school rectors and principals.
The programme was based on modules in the Commonwealth Educational Leadership Handbook, which was created to facilitate the professional development of the education workforce.
The workshop also integrated Professor Sanga's innovative story-telling-based "tok stori" approach, which encourages the exploration of lived experiences of leadership and focuses on creating a joint narrative and making sense of life rather than being confined to textbook methodologies.
Professor Sanga stressed the critical importance and timeliness of the workshop. He said:
"It provided the school leaders with a facilitated philosophy of leadership, an appropriate approach and the opportunity for them to reflect on their own leadership and support and learn from each other."
He added: "It demonstrated the positive value of an appropriate South-South leadership development encounter using the Commonwealth Educational Leadership Handbook. As a Commonwealth leadership mentor from the Pacific region, I was much encouraged by the Mauritius leaders' resilience and willingness to learn as leaders."
Dr Amina Osman, Education Adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat, who organised the training, echoed his sentiments, describing the 'tok stori' approach as innovative, effective and one that deserves to be shared with the wider Commonwealth. She added:
"It is important that we design training with the understanding that effective leadership now involves not only possessing the right knowledge and skills but also deploying them in the moment to make sound decisions amid complex problems. It requires a strength-based reflective practice and a collaborative community committed to enhancing school effectiveness."
Speaking at the Training launch, Hon. Mrs Leela Devi Dookun Luchoomun, Vice Prime Minister of Mauritius, praised the Commonwealth for its valuable collaboration and contribution to the country's capacity-building programme for school leaders. The Minister said:
"Workshops like this one that are part of your continuous professional development remain a necessity. They are an investment in the future of education, a commitment to the success of our students, and a recognition of the transformative power of effective leadership."
Ijeoma Onyeator Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat