Accessing a future: returning home a leader in equal education for all

16 December 2021

Blog post by David Moatshe from Botswana, Africa. 

I chose The University of Queensland, because of its academic and research excellence that is held with such high esteem, globally.

My Master of Educational Studies course focused on leadership. This came at an opportune time for me, because I can now apply these skills back home as a leader for educational programs. 

I lead the Motse Wa Badiri Training at Camphill Community Trust in Botswana, Africa. The training offers a four-year program for people 14 years or older with learning difficulties or disabilities called ‘The Integrated Learning for Living and Work Programme’.

When I return to Botswana, I will work with educational institutions to improve skills and competencies for school leadership and management. This is intended to empower the school’s senior management with leadership skills influenced by leadership theories that are applicable to the school environments where they operate from. I will also share theories and best practices to improve teacher work attitudes and student outcomes, which in turn, influences student attitudes and academic outcomes.

Thanks to my obtaining my UQ master’s degree, there is a high possibility that I will be given a new role, ‘Leadership and Policy Development Coordinator’, when I return home.

As someone who uses a motorised wheelchair, I’m happy to say that the University has made most of the buildings accessible; the walkways are accessible and so are the areas around the lakes. I have never experienced troubles with accessibility requirements inside most buildings and around the University. The University seems to take the issues of accessibility very seriously. Even my accommodation, which was provided by UQ, was in a house that had been built to specifically cater for persons with a disability.

David Moatshe at 2021 Class graduation with fellow students and Fiona Pakoa, Senior Manager, Scholarships
Me front right with Fiona Pakoa, UQ Scholarships Senior Manager, and fellow graduates from Africa at the 2021 class of International Sponsored Students farewell ceremony

My time here at UQ was a phenomenal experience. The experiences were twofold: first, I was able to grow emotionally, and I became resilient, because of the challenges from Covid-19. I also learnt to adapt and transition from face-to-face learning to online learning.

Secondly, through my master’s, I gained immense knowledge and skills in my chosen field of leadership and in interpreting policies for easy understanding by the implementers of those policies.

The key takeaways from my course are that good leadership styles and applications in a workplace are key to the success and achievements of the collective and the organisation.

Studying at UQ offers the best opportunities to learn under the world’s best. The University’s academics, alongside the environment and the infrastructure, offer a conducive environment that allows an individual to excel and exhibit the best potentials they have as people. 

I have made lasting friendships with the locals, the teaching staff, and other students from different nationalities. This experience will build and increase my networks, which are key to my future endeavours, because I will be able to reach out to them every time I need to ask for anything from them.