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eta week 14 Aug

“The sheep spends its entire life fearing the wolf, only to be eaten by the shepherd.”                                                                                                                                                                                           

I came across this profound statement and it reminded me of the apartheid era when the government was villainizing communism (the wolf). They claimed to be the shepherd but, in my mind, they disguised themselves in the robes of shepherd. It was they that were the wolves.

I googled who made this statement about wolves and shepherds. It was Robert Mugabe. Another wolf in shepherd’s robes?

My conclusion is:

You may be able to make smart claims, but are you an example of what you claim? or could you be the wolf disguised as a shepherd?                                                                                                          Steve Harris


Continuing with our strategic plan: eta Stakeholder expectations

Stakeholder expectations provide strategic directions for eta and our unrefined assumptions are that the main stakeholders’ expectations are:

Students expect:

  1. Quality education that is accredited, endorsed by industry and employers.
  2. A qualification that sets up our students’ futures, is relevant for income-earning opportunities and creating employability.
  3. Well-resourced, credible, and inspiring teaching and learning processes.
  4. Creative teaching that engages students in their learning, whether on campus or online.
  5. Teaching methods that are student-focused and enable learning on or off campus.
  6. Fair assessment with helpful, prompt, and regular feedback that promotes learning.
  7. To develop 21st century skills which they can apply across different domains and employment sectors.

Students’ sponsors expect:

  1. A return on their investment with a student who learns and graduates.
  2. Regular communication relating to the progress of their sponsored students, and according to our policy on results and reports.

Quality Councils expect:

  1. Compliance to their quality assurance requirements.
  2. Providers who add value to the minimum requirements, exceeding quality assurance requirements.

Government expects:

  1. Compliance to business and education laws.
  2. A robust quality management system with policies and procedures for teaching, learning and assessment.
  3. A robust system for ensuring compliance to finance, business, health and safety and labour laws.
  4. Reforming education: this reform involves our stakeholders and includes curriculum that considers current social justice needs.

National Directors expect:

  1. A viable business with achievable margins.
  2. Programmes and courses that meet market needs.
  3. Compliance to strategies, systems, and policies.

 eta Operators expect:

  1. An agreement that provides them with income-earning opportunities.
  2. Opportunities for professional growth and development.
  3. Support for their sustainability with relevant programmes, systems and structures and achievable margins.

Employees expect:

  1. Stimulating and enjoyable work environment with industry related pay.
  2. Opportunities for personal growth and greater income.
  3. Opportunities for professional growth and development.

Recommended reading / podcasts / webinars

The following is the opening quote in the first chapter of my book: Surviving to Thriving (Steve Harris 2020)


Sharpen the saw

In, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (1989), Stephen Covey uses the parable, Sharpen the saw to illustrate his seventh habit.

He explains it with a story of a woodcutter straining to saw down a tree.  A young man watching asked, “What are you doing?”

“Are you blind?” the woodcutter replied. “I’m cutting down this tree.”

The young man was unabashed. “You look exhausted! Take a break. Sharpen the saw.”

The woodcutter explained to the young man that he had been sawing for hours and did not have time to take a break.

The young man pushed back. “If you sharpen the saw, you will cut down trees much faster.”

The woodcutter said, “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw. I’m too busy sawing?”

Covey uses “sharpen the saw” as a metaphor for improvement. I agree, with him, instead of working harder the obvious choice for someone who wants to survive is to introduce change. Most opt for sharpening their saw.

However, there are more possibilities. you could choose to replace the saw with adapted equipment like a powered chain saw.

Furthermore, there are times, when you should critically reflect on whether sawing down trees is the right thing for thriving? Isn’t it a better idea to plant trees rather than saw them down?

What do you think the takeaway value is from Covey’s parable? Write to us and let us know.

I think we should at least:

Sharpen the saw


On Key

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