Photography by: Nthabiseng Seboka
Writing by: Linda Zhangazha
‘Mamokokomali Senekane has been working at Thabeng High School in Morija for 25 years. She first started teaching in June 1991. In 1998, she became the Head of Department of Practical Subjects. In 2004, she was made Deputy Principal and then in January 2009 she was promoted to the position of Principal – the first woman in the school’s history to hold this position.
Senekane attended High School at ‘Mamathe High School. After completing her COSC, she was employed as an assistant teacher there for six months. She then furthered her studies at the National University of Lesotho (1987-1991) and the University of the Free State (2004 – 2007), where she worked as a lecturer for 2 years while still teaching at Thabeng High School.
She became the Principal of Thabeng High School after the transfer of the former Principal, Mr L. Makhothe. Senekane chose to become the Principal because she already knew how to manage the students and how to work hand-in-hand with the other teachers. For her, it seemed impossible that somebody new from another school should become Principal, as this person would not know how to manage Thabeng High School students.
”I like teaching and it was my dream to become a teacher one day,” says Senekane. At first, Senekane found that some of the students at the school were badly behaved and hard to control, but she managed to solve that problem by applying disciplinary measures. This was not easy, as she had to face negative reactions to her decisions, especially from parents. The other challenge was that exam results at the school were poor.
”I have managed to make a difference since I became Principal, because the results at the school are now better,” she says. She has encouraged other teachers to improve their work, and they seem to adhere to that positive move. In addition, Senekane has learnt how to separate facts from fallacy as a way of resolving conflicts. She has managed to keep her self esteem high, and has remained strong enough to face these challenges.
Senekane feels happy and proud when she sees her students succeed in life because she dreams of helping them to become successful in life. She says that almost half of her students now have a better standard of living.
”My vision for this school is to see it improve and for our results to be better than ever before,” says Senekane.