Media alert: Attendance at the WCED education conference | Western Cape Government

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Media alert: Attendance at the WCED education conference

20 March 2019

The Western Cape Education Department invites media to attend their Education Conference at the CTICC on the 25th to 26th March 2019.

Please let me know if you would like to attend the conference.

The main highlights include:

25 March 2019:

  1. Opening Address: Provincial Minister of Education – Debbie Schafer (08h30)
  2. Lounge Discussion: CEO of HeyMath! - Ms Nirmala Sankaran (09h20)
  3. Exhibitor: Pepper Robot


26 March 2019:

  1. Address: Head of Department - Mr Brian Schreuder (08h00)
  2. Address: Global Teacher of the Year – Andria Zafirakou (08h30)
  3. Lounge Discussion: Global Teacher of the Year – Andria Zafirakou (10h00)

There will be an opportunity for media interviews with Ms Andria Zafirakou between 09h20 and 09h50  (Room 2:66)

Please let me know if you would like to have an opportunity to engage with Andria during this time and if you are attending the conference for access purposes. You can also sms me on 072 7241422


Microsoft will be bringing Pepper robotSA - a humanoid robot that looks and acts like a human.  Pepper was created in France and has been deployed all around the world,  and now I am here in South Africa, as one of the first humanoid robots in South Africa.  She is specifically designed to meet and pass on information to humans.  She has some artificial intelligence that helps her to find and track human beings.

The WCED is very excited to that Andria Zafirakou, the 2018 Global Teacher Award winner, will be one of the key note speakers at the conference.

Ms Zafirakou beat teachers nominated from more than 170 countries to win a prize worth $1m in Dubai last year and has also since been appointed MBE in the United Kingdom’s New Year’s Honor’s list for her services to education and young people. She has also been named in the top ten of The Evening Standard’s list of the most influential people in London.

Ms Zafirakou is a teacher at a north London secondary school called Alperton Community School and was instrumental in changing the lives of many of the learners at the school through creativity, while also promoting diversity.

 Using the prize money awarded by the Global Teacher awards, Ms Zafirakou founded a charity called Artists in Resistance with an aim to improve arts education in schools.


Global Teaching Prize write up:

The WCED is also excited to welcome Ms Nirmala Sankaran, a co-founder of HeyMath!, a web-based Mathematics platform comprising of animated visuals and interactive activities that empowers educators and engages learners and educators across the Western Cape. It also infuses best practices from high performing systems like Singapore.

The Conference aims to bring together a wide and diverse range of voices in education and development in the province to discuss educational challenges with a focus on a rapidly changing technological and living environment. 

There has been recent hype around the Fourth Industrial Revolution (“4IR”) and the skills required to meet the needs of the 21st Century. This conference aims to address these needs as well as other challenges in the Western Cape.

These include:

  • How to adapt to a changing future of work and lifestyle shaped by the fourth industrial revolution and the need for 21st century skills
  • Social justice
  • Inequalities in school performance
  • School safety, gangsterism and youth disaffection/unemployment
  • Literacy and numeracy levels
  • Teacher professional development

The Conference has been warmly welcomed and is now oversubscribed. We look forward to the many engagements by prominent speakers in the Western Cape, as well as, a variety of exhibitions and entertainment.

Soundbite available: please whatsapp me on 072 7241422

Media Enquiries: 

Bronagh Hammond
Director: Communications
Western Cape Education Department
072 7241422 (please whatsapp or sms me if unavailable)