KZN woman succeeds in the private higher education sector

Education academic Dr Cleo Karrim sees herself as a transformational leader, developing teachers for the 21st century.

Education academic Dr Cleo Karrim sees herself as a transformational leader, developing teachers for the 21st century.

Born and raised in KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, Dr Cleo Karrim despises taking shortcuts, instead choosing to work hard and persevere to reach success.

The 38-year-old schooled in Stanger and thereafter obtained numerous degrees – Bachelor of Education specialising in Biology, Bachelor of Education Honours, Master of Education and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Dr Karrim is presently the Head of School of Education at MANCOSA, the Durban-based private higher education institution.

She believes she is helping students to progress by developing teachers for the 21st century despite the various challenges that schools face, be it infrastructure, finance and mismanagement of resources.

“MANCOSA aims to skill new teachers to be agile for all contexts. The iTEACHLab has shown growth in other provinces and continues to add value to the local schooling sector through the robotics and coding programmes available at the institution,” she said.

Dr Karrim said it is important to empower people with leadership skills to the extent that this allows them to become responsible not only for their own growth and development, but also to encourage others to develop too.

“Empowerment strengthens communities and nations much more broadly and can improve the way we live and interact with others around us.

“I am inspired by many local activists in my community who boldly denounce inequality and injustice in today’s society,” she said.

Her most difficult decision was to move from the secondary schooling sector to the tertiary education sector, but in some respects, it became one of her best decisions.

Dr Karrim’s greatest strength lies in perseverance. Her recipe for success is hard work and commitment – ‘you do the work and you achieve results’.

A keen author, her first book was launched this year, Proudly Brown – Identifying You which tells the largely untold stories of coloured people in KZN.

She is currently completing her Master of Business Administration (MBA) focusing her research on: Exploring leadership styles and its impact on organisational performance including case studies of three schools in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Dr Karrim plans to obtain professorship in the future.

The new mother recently gave birth to her second child believes that family time is important in life.