Yo School Magazine

Leadership in our Schools – Representative Council of Learners

I was keen to understand leadership in our schools and how those chosen are elected.

In my quest to understand leadership, I came across a statement made by Leadership Guru John C. Maxwell: “Everything falls on Leadership, Leadership is the Key Enabler, without Leadership there is Darkness”. Peter F. Drucker said: “Management is doing things right, Leadership is doing the right things”.

I spoke to Deputy Head Girl Brendoliny Muvengi and Head Boy Nkosikhanyile Masuku at Blue Eagle High School on their leadership roles at the school.

School Principal Mrs. Ndlala initiated a Leadership Academy in 2015 and was implemented by Mr. Medupe at the school – the academy has 64 learners in Grade 8 -11, mentors and overseen by the Principal Ndlala. The academy chooses the leadership of the school called the Representative Council of Learners (RCL).

The 64 leaners are chosen after an application process that looks at the learner’s academic performance, behaviour and availability to serve the learners. These 64 learners went through a two day leadership training workshop at Rhema Bible Church to understand the roles in the leadership structure of the RCL.

Deputy Head Girl Brendoliny Muvengi said; “My role as deputy head girl is to carry out the vision of the school’s head girl. The role has been challenging indeed because I have to balance my academic goals and the leadership role at the school, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, I am enjoying it.”

Head Boy Nkosikhanyile Masuku said; “My role is to care for all the needs and concerns of all the learners at the school. Ours is to serve the learners, even when I am having a bad. Whatever I do has to be at the best interest of the learners, I have to be approachable to empathetic to all learners – I can honestly say I am doing my best.”

I remember attending the last day of a four day workshop for all Representative Council of Learners (RCL) in Region D facilitated by the Matthew Goniwe Leadership and Governance Institute in the City of Johannesburg, hosted by Far North Secondary School in Cosmo City.

Day 1 of the workshop looked at challenges face by all South African schools. There was a look at the National Development Plan and its importance. There was a session of understanding the role of School Governing Bodies (SGBs).

Day 2 looked at the role of RCL’s, decision-making, representing and reporting back to the learners as a member of the RCL. There was a session on identifying problems in school and solving them. Presentation skills were taught and role playing was practiced.

Day 3 looked at developing and running a campaign in the school environment to solve challenges in school. Public speaking, report writing, leading and understanding people skills were taught.

Day 4 was about the each member of the RCL understanding themselves, dealing with stress and being positive.

A Representative Council of Learners is elected by learners in public schools from Grade 8-12, to represent their interests. Every school must elect an RCL, and the RCL must elect two members to the School Governing Body. An RCL is not a prefect body. It is made up of the democratically elected representatives of learners and should represent the interests of the learners and consult them on issues that concern them. Each class in a mixed-sex school from Grade 8 and above elects two representatives onto the RCL (one male and one female). In a single-sex school each class has one representative.


Mzukona Mantshontsho is the founder of Nyakaza Media Solutions. Nyakaza Media Solutions is an organisation that was established to help community organisations, business entities, and schools to research, write, document, report, analyse, edit, publish newsletters or bulletins in hard-copy, on-line and maintain websites with the relevant content as per the editorial policy of that organisation, school or entity. Nyakaza Media Solutions has a vision to promote and bring dialogue to communities, businesses and schools about issues that affect them. Nyakaza Media Solutions is on a mission to develop and encourage communities, businesses and learners to celebrate the good, applaud excellence, welcome growth, strive to be better individuals, businesses and communities, want more knowledge, discourage bad and counter-productive behaviour as well as communities, businesses and learners that want to be great SOUTH AFRICANS. Nyakaza Media Solutions is making use of Yo School Magazine as a platform that learners in all schools to make use of to write their stories.

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