Rishichand Sookai Budhal. Supplied
Rishichand Sookai Budhal. Supplied

Chatsworth principal honoured with national lifetime achievement award

By Nadia Khan Time of article published Oct 13, 2021

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Durban: A Primary school principal from Chatsworth has been recognised for his sterling contribution to education.

Rishichand Sookai Budhal, the principal at Rose Heights Primary School, received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Department of Basic Education’s 21st Reimagined National Teaching Awards (NTA).

The NTA is part of the Teacher Appreciation and Support Programme (TASP), which was launched by the Minister of Basic Education in 2015. Its goal is to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate teachers' excellence in diverse contexts.

The event was held at the Emperors Palace in Gauteng last Wednesday.

Budhal, 61, of Queensburg, studied teaching at the then University of Durban-Westville. He later obtained a doctorate in psychology, and published five education-related books.

“I feel happy to be recognised for my contribution towards the betterment of education and the lives of our future generations. The award also coincides with my retirement in a year or two."

He said he hoped to inspire his colleagues to ensure quality education within the district and the province.

"Hopefully, my efforts will increase their self-esteem by excelling in the performance of their management tasks."

Budhal who also teaches maths and science, said his staff had nominated him for the award.

“I then had to do various presentations on my contributions towards education from the district and cluster levels to the provincial and national levels."

Budhal said he had followed in the footsteps of his dad, who was also a teacher.

“It was the tremendous impact he made in the lives of his charges, together with his passion for the advancement of society through education, that influenced me in choosing teaching as a career.

“In order to succeed in this noble profession, I empowered myself by engaging in lifelong learning in the fields of educational management and developmental psychology. The combined knowledge has seen me become an effective manager, while ensuring the actualisation of learners’ full academic potential."

Buddhal said that to be an effective leader, one needed to be a lifelong learner and adapt to the transformation taking place in the country, especially in the field of education.

“Secondly, one needs to be proactive and implement changes in advance. Another important principle is that of transparency and encouraging teamwork in all endeavours at the school. To this end, one needs to engage all stakeholders in decision making, ensuring a buy-in approach. Finally, a school needs to ensure that its operations are aligned to the Batho Pele principles of people first.”

He said his personal goal was to ensure that his school was ready for the challenges of the fourth and fifth Industrial Revolutions.

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