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Media Release

28 October, 2002

Three Teachers Honoured for their Dedication

Press Release Issued by: Telkom SA (Ltd) - Corporate Communication

For the first time in the five-year history of the Maths and Science Teacher of the Year Award, two winners were chosen in the category for practising educators.

Mrs Maryna de Lange from Saldanha Bay Primary in the Western Cape and Mr Steve Maditjane from Tsamma Secondary School in Klerksdorp, North West, shared the stage last week(Thursday, 24 October 2002), when it was announced in Midrand that they were this year's practising winners.

Limpopo again lived up to its reputation as a province of winners when Mr Felang Gibson Pebane of Bushbuckridge was named as winner in the category for retired teachers. Pebane was the principal at Letshele High School for 14 years.

The three winners each won four computers to donate to a school.

Initiated in 1998, the Maths and Science Teacher of the Year Award is a partnership between the Telkom Foundation, education NGO Protec and the Sowetan newspaper. The award is under patronage of Deputy Education Minister Mosibudi Mangena.

It is one of the country's most prestigious education accolades and attempts to find teachers who make a difference in these subjects in disadvantaged schools.

Teachers, parents and pupils nominate retired and practising teachers, and criteria are that a teacher should be dedicated and inspirational in maths and science.

Apart from celebrating teachers who make a difference in teaching maths and science, the project also identifies what it is that makes these teachers so special that their ideas and actions are emulated by others.

In his keynote address at the award ceremony, Deputy Minister of Education Mosibudi Mangena alluded to the fact that today's learners are not keen on following teaching as a profession.

He cited violence against children and dysfunctionality in schools as major stumbling blocks in the achievement of an enabling environment for learners.

"Language is another factor which has a great influence on the comprehension abilities of a child." He said if learners are able to understand the language, it becomes easy for them to understand the concepts used.

New Africa Investments Limited nation building chairperson Dr Aggrey Klaaste called on the Department of Education to ensure that schools are being utilised as the intellectual hub of development by engaging school governing bodies as partners in the development of schools.

Telkom CEO Sizwe Nxasana said the three winners had demonstrated their commitment, passion and unwavering dedication to the teaching profession and the vitally important subjects of maths and science.

"These subjects will enable our learners to make a meaningful contribution to the economy of our country." He called for the establishment of more centres of excellence in maths and science and a clear-cut strategy on attracting and retaining good maths and science teachers.

Nxasana said Telkom is passionate about the introduction of Information and Communication Technology into the education system and has been involved in a number of initiatives intended to promote basic education and, crucially, maths, science and technology.

These projects include the Company's Internet project, known as the SuperCentre project, with the aim of installing computer networks and Internet connections at 100 schools countrywide, and the Adopt-a-Project programme through which members of top management can support projects that fits the Telkom Foundation's investment profile.

Telkom Foundation CEO Nkhetheleng Vokwana said by supporting the Teacher of the Year Award, the Foundation contributes to "demystifying" mathematics and science teaching and learning.

"Learners easily get intimidated by maths and science and when they have to make subject choices, they tend to base that on fear rather than personal aspirations."

Vokwana said dedicated and inspiring maths and science teachers at disadvantaged schools play an important role in giving learners the confidence to consider career opportunities in the industry for Information and Communication Technology.

Issued by Hans van de Groenendaal
Senior Manager: Corporate Communication
Telkom SA (Ltd)
Tel: (012) 311 7114
Mobile: 082 553 4539

Telkom CEO Sizwe Nxasana (middle) with the two practising winners Steve Maditjane of North West and Maryna de Lange of the Western Cape.


Telkom CEO Size Nxasana (second from the left) with the practising winners Steve Madijane (far left) of North West and Maryna de Lange of the Western Cape as well as the winner in the retired category, Felang Gibson Pebane of Limpopo (far right).

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