As the newly appointed Principal of Weston, I am fortunate to fortunate enough to be able to take my perception of “heaven” to the next level.
Our vision - to be the foremost agricultural school in South Africa, remains. With the changing dynamics in agriculture, our curriculum delivery, imparting of skill sets and modern agricultural practices evolve. However, our value system and ethos remain intact.
We pride ourselves on having integrity, a hard work ethic, respect, manners, chivalry, litter intolerance and cultural understanding. These values are lacking in greater society.
With the onset of democracy in 1994, there was much excitement. Twenty six years later and we haven’t made any measurable progress. Why? We forgot about each other and worried about individual aspirations. This year, at Weston, we have embarked on a greater understanding of each other’s culture. We are unique in our diversity and must capitalise on this!
Weston has embarked on exposing our learners to the associated careers within the agricultural spectrum. It is not only about tilling the soil and feeding the livestock. Agriculture in the future is about working together with our natural resources to ensure the sustainability of our planet. Our curriculum exudes the everchanging demands on the production of food and related products for our nation.
Future agriculturalists must be trained in disaster management. We are now partnering with our Safety, Security and Medical team, Nsele, to take the lads through their paces in this important area. During an emergency, reaction time is critical. Networking, assessing situations and making informed decisions makes a difference between success and failure.
The learners will be introduced to drones and coding in 2021. We are also piloting Agricultural Studies in grades 8 and 9. Computer Applications Technology has also been added to the FET phase.
Our community outreach programme is in full swing. We partnered with Umati and Sunshine Seedlings to assist the neighbouring communities with training in vegetable production. We are in the process of partnering with AAM and Umati to assist our indigent farmers with their livestock.
Access control will be of priority to all who live at Weston.
A lad enters Weston concerned with the thought of being away from home for five years. At the end of his schooling career, this young man enters society as a contributing citizen. He bubbles with enthusiasm to apply all that he learnt at our magnificent institution.
A Westonian makes a difference, is trustworthy, reliable, resilient, and hardworking!
Mr D. Maharaj Principal
MY ROAD TO WESTON
September 1996 will always remain dear to me. It was the day I drove through the avenue of pine trees into what I thought was heaven: Weston Agricultural College. The brick buildings astounded me. The sport facilities mesmerised me.
Fast forward to December 2000 - I was asked by Mr Paul Tait to apply for a vacant teaching post at Weston. Without hesitation, I forwarded my CV, attended an interview and so began the third phase of my career in education - at Weston. At that stage, I was involved in coaching cricket at Natal High Schools’ level.
Initially at Weston I taught Mathematics, Animal Husbandry, Field Husbandry, Biology, Natural Science, Life Orientation and Mathematics Literacy.
I coached the u15 cricket team and later was promoted to the first team. My rugby coaching career started with the u15B squad and later the Cricket Convener role. I was overjoyed. I also convened soccer and both freshwater and rock and surf fishing. Weston won the 21 Species boat fishing competition in Richards Bay under my guidance.
On the Weston farm I served at poultry, beef, veggies, sports fields and inside grounds. It was exciting and informative to have hands-on experience in all these sections. I became involved in holiday duties on the farm.
I performed boarder master duty, and was also grade controller for G9, G11 and G12. Later, I was promoted to Acting HOD, when Mr Roberts acted as Principal. From 2015 until 2018, I held the position as Head of Academics. In 2019, I assumed the role of Acting Principal and now Principal. I continue to serve as the President of KZN Schools Cricket, Vice Chair – SALOV - Southern Regions, KZN Agricultural Schools’ Principal Representative on PETFAFF.