South African Delegation Discusses Education Reform with Deputy Chancellor for Special Education and Other DCPS Officials 

January 28, 2011


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A delegation of four South African education policy makers met with Dr. Richard Nyankori, Deputy Chancellor for Special Education, and Early Stages Executive Director Nathaniel Beers late January as part of a United States tour to discuss the challenges and solutions the U.S. faces with its primary and secondary education system.

“Like many other countries, South Africa is committed to strengthening the delivery and accountability of its education system,” said Dr. Nyankori. “I am happy to share the measurable progress we have made in education reform, but we, too, have a long way to go. We all can benefit from discussing similar challenges and sharing strategies with one another.”

The delegation’s members all played different influential roles in their country’s education system: superintendent from an education department, client relationship manager for a philanthropic corporate foundation, education officer and curriculum specialist from a teachers union, and director of education planning, evaluation and reporting.

Dr. Nyankori discussed the work that DCPS has been doing over the past three years, including the focus on recruiting, retaining and rewarding highly effective teachers, modernizing school facilities and taking steps toward creating a standard curriculum.

The delegation said it is facing many of the same challenges that DCPS and other U.S. school systems face. 

They asked questions about how to recruit the best people to teach, how to influence classroom teaching and how to make sure that students have the social supports in place to focus on learning and to achieve.

“It’s so helpful just to have these comparisons and to see how people grapple with these issues and with different solutions,” said Sarah Morrison, one of the delegation’s members.

The visit to the U.S. was sponsored by the International Visitor Leadership Program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The goal of this program, as with most exchanges, is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries.

To learn more about the International Visitor Leadership Program, visit the U.S. Department of State website

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