WBHS was once again well represented at the World Leading Schools Association (WLSA) Global Educators Conference this year. This is an event which is held every 2nd year, with the WLSA Student Conference being held every other year. This year’s conference was held in the beautiful city of Prague (Czech Republic) over the period Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th July.
Claudio Govender (Matric 2019) impressed in delivering one of the opening speeches at the 2019 conference. Claudio was honoured with appointment as the Chairperson of the WLSA Students Council at the Students’ Conference in Korea last year. This followed the recognition given to David Weber (Matric 2018) who was named as Top Delegate at the Students’ Conference in Shanghai in 2016.
The inclusion of the student body in the Principals’ & Teachers’ Conference was well received in view of its student-centred mission, and the focus this year on the theme of ‘Education for the Human Condition’. Topics covered at the conference covered a wide range of current issues such as IT and social media, maximizing resilience and well-being in high-achieving schools, models for student support and counselling, access to the world’s top universities, raising the potential of academic faculties in schools, and school leadership in times of complexity.
Recently retired Headmaster, Trevor Hall, represented WBHS at the 2019 conference and participated in a panel discussion on ‘The future of Technology on Campus: Maximizing the Opportunities and Minimizing the Dangers’. WBHS staff members Tanya Bower and Byron Tucker also attended in their capacities as Mentors of the Cross-Cultural Leadership programme.
It was reassuring to learn that many of the issues affecting top South African schools such as WBHS and WGHS were also experienced in high achieving schools across the world.
Background information: WLSA is a non-profit educational foundation registered in the Netherlands, which promotes co-operation and academic exchange between leading schools in China and the rest of the world. This prestigious body comprises a maximum of 100 leading schools: 50 from the East and 50 from the West. WLSA acts as a platform for professional development and serves schools and school leaders in building leading, innovative programmes for their students in developing the new leaders of the generation.
WBHS was the first South African school to be invited to join WLSA in 2009 and has been attending the WLSA conferences since then. In recent years, our sister school, WGHS, and the African Leadership Academy (ALA) have also gained admission. Our involvement has opened doors for several student exchanges with top schools such as Lovett (USA), St Pauls (Hong Kong) and the WLSA-Fudan Academy (China).