Leading as a servant, not as a boss

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At Groupe Scolaire Kagugu, everything rises and falls on leadership. GS Kagugu is one of the Gasabo district schools that are supported by our School Development Program whose main purpose is to foster quality in schools by empowering head teachers and teachers. With 5,500 students and 69 teachers, the school has seen remarkable changes as a result of the effective school leadership and management practices. Jean Baptiste HABANABASHAKA (JBH) serves as the head teacher of the school and he is one of the school leaders who have been equipped by Wellspring in school leadership and management. JBH is passionate about education and leadership. His most joyful moments at school, he says, happen when teachers and children approach him freely and joyfully.
Jean Baptiste Habanabashaka

Jean Baptiste Habanabashaka

In the past, JBH believed leadership meant power and position. Being a leader meant being the boss. It meant terrifying the people he led. He believed that his leadership would be affirmed if teachers were afraid of him.  He believed that he would earn people’s respect if everybody did what he wanted without questioning his orders. As a result of Wellspring’s support, JB was able to change his attitude about what school leadership really means, which is about “serving and caring about people” he says. JBH shares: “I learned that great leaders serve their people and that trust cannot be built when a leader does not care about the people he or she leads. I view teachers as my peers and my friends. My role, as a school leader is to ensure that teachers enjoy their working environment and that they are well equipped to help our children unleash their potential. I strive to ensure that my team understands that science without humanity leads to the path of destruction”. Since the school embarked on this new path, a couple of positive things happened at GS Kagugu. Teachers’ performance increased. Teamwork was fostered. School leaders designed practical ways to encourage teachers and students to revive their interest in using technology in education. Students started to enjoy their learning and to love attending classes. Furthermore, the involvement of the wider community of parents increased through the implementation of various innovative initiatives like developing community gardens that generate income to support the school. As a result of values integration in teaching, students initiated the creation of a fund (“Agaseke” Fund) to respond to the needs of their classmates that come from poor families.
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