Across the globe:
Leading, linking, learning

Update from the President

Presentation to African Congress of Principals (September 2016)


Dear colleagues and friends

I have a dream. I have a dream of equal education without boundaries or borders. I have a dream of safe schools, where our children’s well being is central – where every child is loved and cared for.

 I have a dream of well - trained teachers, who can see their occupation as one of the world’s most interesting professions. I have a dream of school leaders who have a good moral compass and who strive to do their best. I have a dream of schools that look a little bit different than others. I have a dream of my world, your world, our world named Equal Education for All.

During my career as an international school leader I have had the great privilege of getting to know many African school leaders. Ladies and gentleman who work on this great continent, I have learned piece by piece of your commitment, strength, faith and joy.

 I have learned that the working life that I call hard and difficult, is just a normal day at the office for many of my African colleagues. I have learned that equal opportunities are more than just words they are the result of hard work.

 I have learned that this Continent has great potential in the name of its inhabitants the Children of Africa. I have learned that today is a time for singing and dancing, because life is sharing, sharing our best moments together.

Dear colleagues and friends

Education is a global product. We are living in a time when education really matters and is making many changes. Education is making changes to our individual life but even more so changes to the way nations see their future. But education is not a competition. It is not the Olympics or the World Championships. It is sad to see that even some education policy makers see it as a competition.

In the deepest values of education we can see things like being fair, being near, being honest and walking with me for a while. Those are words of humility and humanity, difficult to put on a ranking list, but easy to feel and understand very deeply when you are a committed school leader.

We are gathered here in Cape Town to learn more, because life is an ongoing learning process. In the next few days we have an opportunity to become a little better as school leaders. We have a great opportunity to praise the best things of education - collaboration and development. But sometimes it is even more important to meet new faces, see old friends and make some new ones. Just being a human being.

 I would like to thank African Principals Council for making it possible for us to have this awesome experience. As The President of International Confederation of Principals I hope that I will see you all here in 2017 when SAPA  (Western Cape) and Cape Town hosts the ICP World Convention.

Dear Friends and colleagues

We are workers for a better future.  If somebody had to measure your work or your school, what would be the best measure - just think about it, is it a legacy that you can leave behind? is it a story that your students will tell their children?  We are not running school for us or our leaders, we are running school for those who will write history in the future. And if you are honest with yourself, it is difficult to find anything else that is so noble as being a School Leader.

Ari Pokka


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