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‘I aim for quality’

“It is every educator’s hope to do what they love and by doing so, inspiring learners to excel.”

This is the dream of Darryl Matthys, the new circuit 6 manager of the Cape Winelands Education District. Matthys is former principal of Noorder-Paarl High School.

He accepted the position after Linda Marais retired.

Matthys said he aims to provide quality education for children in every classroom at every school in the province. His vision for the Western Cape Education Department will kick into action on 1 July.

During his time as principal of Noorder-Paarl High, a school with 1 320 learners from diverse backgrounds, Matthys said he realised that the majority of learners are exposed to poverty, unemployment, substance abuse and violence.

He said this encouraged him to empower the school and improve academic performance, which he did.

“It has been my constant desire to allow learners to believe in themselves, and in so doing change the quality of their life,” Matthys said.

Much of his previous success dates back to his school days in the late ’70s and to the early ’80s. He said this was a politically unstable time with violent protests and uprisings in schools during apartheid.

In 1981 Matthys matriculated from a high school in Athlone, a period when fighting against educational and societal inequalities was at its peak.

He said those uncertain times was imprinted on him and shaped his thinking as a young man.

After matric, Matthys completed a teaching diploma and did his part-time studies at the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town. He then completed various qualifications in education and educational leadership and management.

By providing learners with real opportunities through education, Matthys hopes that his vision will uplift struggling households and communities.

“To make this possible a strong sense of self-discipline and the institution of acceptable values, dignity, and respect needs to be present,” he said.

The schools he will be serving are all those in Paarl West and Charleston Hill Secondary, Paulus Joubert Secondary and Paarlzicht Primary School in Paarl East.

“It is my contention that one’s disadvantaged position should not prevent one from aspiring to achieve success in your life,” he said. “It is important that the huge disparities and inequalities in society be addressed in order to arrest increasing poverty, moral degradation and decline. These benefit neither the privileged nor the underprivileged.”

Matthys, who has more than 30 years in education behind him, believes education must be the vehicle by which society is uplifted.

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