Halfway House Primary School principal Silas Pillay is jetting off to a new post in Saudi Arabia at the end of this month.
Pillay, who has been a principal at the school for the past four years, is at the peak of his career as he was headhunted to manage an international school in a Middle-Eastern country.
The offer came shortly after he had been chosen by the Department of Education to represent South Africa at an international seminar for education administrators held in June, in China with representatives from 20 other countries.
“We were in China for 21 days. While there I was chosen to represent Africa as a group leader and spoke at the closing ceremony,” Pillay said.
“It was a great opportunity to network and learn from other countries. I am really happy God is opening doors based on what I love.
“Humility has proven to be key on my journey.”
His appointment comes as no surprise as he leaves behind a sterling record in the teaching industry.
Born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal, he relocated to Johannesburg in 1991 when he got a bursary to pursue teaching at the Transvaal College of Education.
While practising as a student teacher in 1995, he was headhunted to take a post of a senior phase teacher at the Sharicrest Primary School in Lenasia.
A few years later, he was transferred to Lenasia Secondary School as a teacher. Early 2000, he became head of department at the HA Jack Primary School in Highlands North. A year later, he was promoted to deputy principal at Bryandale Primary School in Highlands North.
In 2012 he was promoted to a principal position at the Regent’s Park Primary School in the South of Johannesburg. Two years later, he joined Halfway House Primary School as principal.
In March this year, the department deployed him as an interim principal at Sandown High School.
Pillay attributes his dedication to his own experience as a product of public schools.
He said growing up in a household where his father was the only breadwinner, he wanted to contribute meaningfully to the development of the community and the country through the public sector.
“I believe education is the mother of all professions and good teachers are good influencers. As teachers, we are the catalysts of change. We must also not neglect the hidden curriculum of developing and mentoring good world-class citizens.”
He prides himself in the various achievements made by Halfway House Primary School during his tenure including the National Teachers Award for primary school leadership, Productivity SA award, launched school flag and many more.
“Many of the teachers I have worked with have been promoted to senior positions which makes me happy and proud.
“I will miss the interaction with the children, my colleagues and parents. I am grateful to them for the good working relationship.”
Pillay ended, “I hope to return and plough back the skills I will acquire abroad.”