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Devon - County shares tips with Africa

An african official has been visiting Devon to gather ideas on the best way to run schools.

Local rather than national politicians will soon have responsibility for primary and secondaries in Namibia. So Sanet Steenkamp, acting director of education for Namibia's Ohangwena region, has been on a fact-finding tour of the county this month.

She is keen to forge closer links between schools in Exeter and east Devon and the 239 schools for which she is responsible.

She will also visit Devon County Council's executive director of children and young people's services, Anne Whiteley, and director of learning and schools, Judith Johnson.

Mrs Steenkamp was invited to Devon by Exeter headteacher Geoff Williams. Last year he spent a term in Namibia helping to develop school leadership as part of a scheme run by Voluntary Service Overseas, the National College and heads' union the NAHT.

This is the first time Mrs Steenkamp has visited schools outside Africa.

She said: "It is very impressive. All the classes I have visited so far have very stimulating learning environments. The teachers use very advanced technology to inspire the children in Devon. But they also do exciting work with just paper, pencils and markers.

"That is the sort of equipment we have so I can go back to my schools and pass on the techniques which I have seen to my teachers." KM.

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