DoE Honours Teachers on Teachers Day
Eastern Cape Department of Education (ECDoE) hosted a teacher’s awards ceremony to celebrate Teacher’s Day and to honour historical teachers of the province on a unique note.
Awards Ceremony was named after Matthew Goniwe.
The two days event took place at Mqanduli outside Mthatha on Wednesday, 30 November and Thursday, 1 December 2016.
The first day of the two day event was a public participation day, held at different venues around Mthatha with a memorial lecture of Matthew Goniwe in the evening. The awards ceremony was held on the second day.
Teacher’s Day is celebrated annually on 5 October, as was declared by the UNESCO in 1994. The province has taken the opportunity to encourage teachers by reminding them of the exceptional heroes of the struggle from the province. Matthew was assassinated in 1985 together with his associate in what is known as the ‘Cradock Four’.
During his address, the MEC for the ECDoE, Honourable Mandla Makhupula portrayed Goniwe as a hero and a true teacher who left the comfort of his home in Cradock to teach maths and science in the rural areas of Mqanduli. This according to Makhupula displayed Goniwe’s level of commitment to an African child, because he could have gone anywhere in the world as his subjects were in demand and still are in demand to the present day.
“Significant numbers of teachers from the province are from rural areas, but when looking for a working position they prefer to go to the city, leaving behind the needy leaners at rural areas,” said the MEC.
“Yes, it can be quite challenging to teach at rural areas, but today is about encouraging you and reminding you of what Goniwe did. Today is about appreciating the contribution you give to those learners. As a teacher, you are in a journey with leaners for thirteen years and the work that you do is hidden. A person can only assume what goes on in the classroom”.
The Honourable MEC proclaimed that teaching is a calling, and said that to educate is to sow value, develop and transform a child and to instil discipline.
“I commend you for your dedication and patience. I fully understand that sometimes you work under challenging conditions, but I plead with you that when you reach a stage where you want to resign please remember that there are people who will only get life because of your work. What we give you today is just a certificate accompanied by love and I hope you will be motivated and continue your good work,” encouraged the MEC.
A total number of 51 teachers were awarded at the ceremony in different categories. The teacher who received an award for the “Person out of service, but is still contributing to education”, is 70 year old retired teacher, Mrs Shiela Saliwa from Cala. She has contributed 45 year of service to education.
She started Lusindiso JSS and has also writing a book for the Foundation Phase. Mrs Siliwa said she was surprised to be called by the Department and she did not expect such an honour.
“When you retire, you feel that you have been throw away and that no one cares about your contributions, but you continue to teach, because it is what you love doing,” she said.
To her, starting the school was recognising the need for her community and she encouraged young teachers to endure, especially in their current time which requires a lot of tolerance as well as to have the art of social work, because they serve learners that come from different kinds of environments.
Another awardee from King William’s Town at Layteliville Primary School, was 48 year old Ayanda Ndarana, with 20 year of service of teaching. She started in her school in 1994 as a teacher and she was promoted to be the principal from 2007.
She said she feels very proud about the recognition she received.
“Most of the time people have a negative perspective about the Department and one can think that it does not care about efforts we contribute to it”.
Ndarana explained that she realised that she got the award because of the work she has done in developing her school which was under developed when she first arrived. Through her organising sponsors, Ndarana managed to get four classes built at the school with an office as well as a computer laboratory with 20 computers. The school won R20 000 in regional prise in water and sanitation competition and recently won R100 000 in a drama competition.
Ndarana said that building a good relationship with her SGB, teachers and community has helped her to accomplish all the success. She received an award for a long service.
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