I am extremely proud that four of our educators from the Western Cape received awards at last night’s National Teaching Award Ceremony in Johannesburg.
I was delighted that I was able to attend the awards, and to congratulate each of our winners personally.
Two of our educators from the Western Cape won first prize in their categories, one educator received a third place award and another educator a special award.
Mr Ismail Teladia, from Spine Road High School, won the award for “Excellence in Secondary School Teaching”.
Mr Teladia, an educator for over 29 years, is Head of Life Orientation at the school. He provides opportunities for learners beyond the classroom. He has initiated an annual career expo at the school which allows learners the opportunity to consult with various representatives from tertiary and other organisations on job and study opportunities. He introduced the first job-shadow programme at the school, focusing on Grade 11 learners, who are placed in big organisations and ensures that all Grade 11 learners have an e-mail address and green bar- coded ID books and bank accounts.
Under his leadership, physical education has been made compulsory for each learner during at least one period per week. This has initiated a new culture of physical exercise that has gripped the learners.
Mr Teladia has a positive attitude that motivates not just the learners at his school but his colleagues around him. Congratulations on winning this prestigious award.
Another category winner last night was Mr Derick Petersen from Imizamo Yethu Secondary School near George. Mr Peterson won in the category “Excellence in Secondary School Leadership”.
Mr Peterson has become well known in education circles for turning around an underperforming school. In 2011, he was appointed as caretaker principal at Imizamo Yethu Secondary School and immediately set out to make this school a success. With an emphasis on class discipline, team work and leading by example, the school soon became known for quality teaching and learning.
I will always remember, on a visit to the school in 2011, how pleasantly surprised I was to see learners running towards the school gate 20 minutes before school even started. Not one learner was late that day. Mr Peterson has implemented a system to curb late coming that worked. Ensuring that school starts on time, and that learners are punctual, present and prepared has paid off.
Under the leadership of the nominee, the school’s matric pass rate rose from 27% in 2010 to 82% in 2011. These results were further improved in 2012 with a pass rate of 96.6%.
Mr Peterson is passionate about teaching and cares for each of his learners and has created sound and reliable systems in his school.
He deservedly wins this category.
Our third winner last night is Mr Warren Sparrow from Rondebosch Boys’ Preparatory School who won third place in the category “Excellence in Information and Communication Technology Enhanced Teaching”.
Mr Sparrow is currently the Head of ICT at Rondebosch Boys’ and has been the recipient of a number of ICT Awards, such as the Microsoft Innovative Teacher for both South Africa and Africa, finalist for the Microsoft Innovative Teacher worldwide, and winner of the 21st Century Classroom Project of the Year for the most innovative use of technology for enhancing learning in schools.
Using a learner-centred approach, he uses his knowledge and skills to identify learners’ strengths and weaknesses, and this guides him in the teaching approach he will choose.
Mr Sparrow has indicated that he has been fortunate to work at a school where technology was affordable. As a result, he is trying to share his knowledge, expertise and work with teachers at schools that have fewer resources. He has developed a website on which he loads all sorts of resources for teachers that they can use free of charge in their classes.
As part of his portfolio as Head of ICT, he is responsible for implementing technology in the other classrooms, assisting teachers with their planning and teaching programmes.
Through the use of ICT, Mr Sparrow has shown that teaching practices can be transformed by using 21st Century learning tools and pedagogy.
Congratulations on winning this award!
I was delighted that Ms Melanie Van de Jar, from Cedar HS, won the Via Afrika People’s Choice Award. This special award is given to an educator following a voting process by the public. Learners were encouraged to write to the DBE with the name of their educator, the school and a 100-word motivation about an outstanding educator in their community that had made a difference in their lives’.
What an honour to receive such an award from our most important customers – the learner’s themselves!
Well done to all these winners and to all the educators that made it to the finals of these awards.
Your contribution to education and the public status of the profession is highly valued. These National Teaching awards which you have received are undoubtedly lifting the profile of teaching as a key profession in South Africa.
You have all done yourselves, your learners, schools and the people of the Western Cape proud!