Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

28 October, 2011

Western Cape honours province's top teachers.

The Western Cape Education Department has announced the names of the top teachers in the province.

The department honoured 47 regional and provincial winners and presented awards in eight categories at an award ceremony in Newlands this evening.

The awards follow a rigorous selection process in all eight education districts of the province and regional finals involving clusters of districts.

The awards form part of the National Teaching Awards programme managed by the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

About 32 000 teachers in the Western Cape were eligible for nomination. The names of the provincial winners will go forward to the national competition.

The provincial adjudication panel spent many hours identifying the winners according to strict criteria provided by the DBE.

The panel included representatives of all sectors of the education community, including all teacher trade unions, school governing body associations and WCED officials.

The awards recognize excellence in teaching and education leadership and provide an opportunity to showcase and celebrate excellence throughout the education system.

The eight categories are:

  • Excellence in Grade R Teaching
  • Excellence in Primary School Teaching
  • Excellence in Secondary School Teaching
  • Excellence in Primary School Leadership
  • Excellence in Secondary School Leadership
  • Excellence in Special Needs Teaching
  • Excellence in Adult Basic Education & Training
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

The DBE will announce the date of the national awards later.

Address by Minister for Education in the Western Cape, Donald Grant
National Teaching Awards - Provincial Awards
Kelvin Grove, Newlands

Distinguished Guests
Awards Recipients
Members of the Teaching Profession and the WCED
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great pleasure to be here today celebrating excellence in teaching.

Each and every one of the 47 individuals that we are honouring here tonight has demonstrated commitment and dedication to the teaching profession. And we are delighted to publicly thank the outstanding teams or individual teachers in our schools.

A greek poet, Niko Kazantzakis, once wrote - "True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own."

We are lucky here in the Western Cape to have so many educators that do exactly that - they use themselves as the bridges for their learners to cross - preparing them for departure in the outside world.

Every day, thousands of excellent teachers go selflessly beyond the call of duty to ensure that their learners receive the best quality tuition they deserve.

They influence our thoughts, our outlook on life, they inspire us, and they encourage us to be the best we can be, and for that they are in turn loved and revered by the learners that pass through their classroom door each year.

But a 'true teacher' is also one that constantly evolves - and is open to developing their teaching skills throughout their career. I have been overwhelmed this year at the positive response we have had in this province to all our teaching conferences and workshops and it demonstrates the level of commitment we have here in the province for the provision of quality education.

I do honestly feel that, for whatever reason, there recently is a renewed sense of hope and determination amongst our teaching corps and I believe that this will ultimately lead to better learner outcomes. I hope we can all, together, harness this positive attitude in the year to come.

But right now, sitting before me tonight, I have 47 of our province's top teachers who are both admired and respected within their school and in their communities.

For your contribution towards excellence in our schools I would like to say thank you.

We recognize your outstanding loyalty and devotion to your learners and we are proud of your achievements.

Congratulations to you all.

I certainly hope that we, as the WCED, can live up to your expectations in treating you all like the valued professionals you are.

Thank you.

Winners of the Western Cape Teaching Awards 2011

Category: Excellence in Grade R Teaching

Team: Nomaweza Mangqwengqwe, Somikazi Mtya, Nomvume Sophazi (team)
Umnqophiso Pre-Primary School, Lwandle, Strand

Team Umnqophiso, comprising of Nomaweza Victoria Mangqwengqwe, Somikazi Mtya and Nomvume Sophazi, share a vision of quality education at their school. This team is led by Nomaweza who is an outstanding leader and visionary who had a dream which seemed impossible to achieve. She was later joined by Somikazi, who was equally passionate and also prepared to teach without a salary. They shared a common dream as they wanted to start a pre-school for the children who come from a disadvantaged community. They were later joined by Nomvume.

The school is named "The School of miracles" in Lwandle. From one Grade R classroom, Umnqophiso Pre Primary has now expanded to five Grade R classes and one pre Grade R class. The school is seen as an integral part of the broader community. This has not come easy. The team is dedicated and committed to making a difference in the lives of the children in their school and beyond the classroom.

The staff works closely in partnership with the parents. They use various projects and programmes to address specific needs within the community. This also saw the birth of Phakamani, which is a training programme for adult learning and skills development

From humble beginnings as domestic workers, these ladies persevere to improve their professional development, thereby attaining greater achievements for the learners. Currently, they are all studying to obtain their B.Ed Degree Foundation Phase. Nomaweza will complete her degree this year, Somikazi has started this year and Nomvume has enrolled for 2012.

Category: Excellence in Primary School Teaching

Alletta du Toit
Hexvallei High School, De Doorns

Ms Aletta du Toit has been in education for 25 years and heads the Foundation Phase at Hexvallei High School. She is a worthy winner of this award as she is a role model to her colleagues and to the greater community of De Doorns. She makes an effort to visit every child's home in order to develop a relationship and a deeper understanding of the context of every learner in her class. She believes that parents must be equal partners in education in order for their children to attain their full academic potential. With this philosophy in mind, she and the parents have managed to maintain an 80-100% LitNum pass rate for the past 5 years. This excellence is evident in the Annual National Assessments where Aletta's phase achieved 80% this year.

Aletta's excellence has been noted in both her district and nationally: at district level she serves as a lead teacher in the Foundation Phase. Nationally, she has been selected by the Department of Basic Education to write, translate and moderate the ANA Afrikaans Literacy exam papers for the Foundation Phase. Furthermore, she has also been selected by DBE as a national marker for the ANA. Provincially she is part of the core training team to facilitate the CAPS roll- out for Foundation Phase teachers in her district.

Her passion for the plight of children has resulted in the establishment of the Brave Heart Foundation, of which she is the director. Under her leadership a home was created for HIV/AIDS infected and affected children. Aletta believes in developing the child holistically. This she does through both academics and sport. She is both the Provincial and National Netball u/18 coach and her team has won gold at the National games. She is also a National u/17 netball selector, national referee, and facilitates coaching clinics facilitator.

It is no wonder that her principal calls her both his left AND his right hand.

Category: Excellence in Secondary School Teaching

Roland Rudd
Wynberg Boys' High School, Wynberg

Mr Roland Rudd's dedication and commitment towards the holistic development of the learners entrusted to him, commenced in 2006 at Wynberg Boys' High School. He has taken engineering graphics design to the proverbial higher level and has made Wynberg Boys' High School the engineering hub of the district.

He is committed to the creation of a learning-centred environment and encouraging learners to become studious. He has set an example by continuing with his own studies and is now also a qualified architect. His lessons are theme-based, so as to enhance the environment in which the learners find themselves. He has also worked very hard to remain abreast of changes in the subjects which he is teaching and tutoring.

Mr Roland Rudd has received many accolades for his teaching abilities. Colleagues have intimated that he has established a very supportive classroom where learners are encouraged to take the initiative and be responsible for their own learning.

Mr Rudd's dynamic strategies, the quality of his teaching and his ability to challenge and inspire learners deserve to be mentioned. Apart from being a counselor at the hostel, his extra-curricular activities include the coaching of swimming, tennis, hockey, water polo and soccer.

He displays a willingness to keep up to date in his sphere of influence. Further evidence of his leadership and active involvement within the profession is his mentoring and coaching of young teachers.

Category: Excellence in Primary School Leadership

Kevin Pretorius
Rocklands Primary School, Mitchells Plain

Mr Kevin Pretorius has been in the teaching fraternity for nearly 29 years. He has adopted the following phrase from Tina Turner: "Simply the best …better than all the rest". The school's 2010 LitNum results bear testimony to this phrase. For Literacy and Numeracy the school obtained 93% and 79% respectively. However, he is not complacent about these results, but is proactive in order for the school to improve and maintain these results.

He is a life-long learner and believes in this principle as an educator and leader. Both he and his deputy principal are currently enrolled in the ACE School Leadership programme. Mr Pretorius sets high standards for all involved in education at Rockland Primary School.

Kevin is a passionate, visionary leader who believes in giving his learners a world- class education. He understands that partnerships with parents, community, NGOs, FBOs, and other funders are important for the total development of the learner. This has culminated in the establishment of a TELKOM Computer Laboratory and exchange programmes with institutions in Japan and Sweden, to name but a few projects. He also obtained R10 million in funding to build an AMPHITHEATRE at his school; the only school to have such a theatre in Mitchells Plain. Construction has already commenced. He believes in being transparent and keeping the channels of communication open and sends out a weekly newsletter, "Friday Flash".

The school is a hub of activity and a buzz of activity prevails at the school, and this is possible because of his commitment to excellence. The school has a sustainable garden that supplies the feeding scheme kitchen with vegetables

The school believes in the old African saying "It takes a village to raise a child". This is evident in all spheres of the school's milieu.

Category: Excellence in Secondary School Leadership

Archie Benjamin
Mountview High School, Hanover Park

Mr Benjamin is a visionary in action. He is passionate, and driven toward securing a better future for all. He leads by example. According to Mr Benjamin, discipline is a priority because it contributes immensely to a sound educational environment. He does not compromise on quality education, holding all stakeholders accountable for excellence in curriculum delivery. Schooling and learner achievement are given precedence as the core business of this institution. As a result, the learners have been able to take their rightful place in higher education institutions, some of who the first in their family line to achieve such accolades.

Teachers, parents and learners are confident of a good holistic education within a safe environment at Mountview High School.

Networking in creating partnerships and forging relationships not only within the borders of South Africa but across the globe is a hallmark of this dynamic leader. Financial constraints and lack of other resources are not seen as a burden but as a marketing tool from which the learners, educators and parents can benefit.

In his approach to teaching, he thinks beyond simple compliance with policies and acts to the achievement of transparency through communication and a learning-centered approach.

Mr Benjamin has proven that the school is a beacon of hope where learners can dare dream beyond their own realities.

Category: Excellence in Special Needs Teaching

Leigh Dunn
Formosa Primary School, Plettenberg Bay

Mr Leigh Dunn is an innovative, passionate and pro-active educator and his teaching impacts positively on learners of the school. He is responsible for the ELSEN UNIT at Formosa Primary School. Leigh has designed a baseline Assessment for the Unit's special needs learners.

Leigh Dunn is well known throughout the District and has been asked on numerous occasions to share his knowledge and skills within the District. He has also been asked by the Directorate: Cape Teaching and leadership Institute to present on how to teach learners with learning problems to read.

He makes a huge contribution in the field of learners with special needs and is evident in his work, which he shares with his colleagues and other teachers in the broader education fraternity. He works closely with occupational therapists and specialists.

By doing things differently in the community, with NGOs like Born Africa and BITOU 10 Foundation, many partnerships were formed with community-based organizations and non-governmental organizations.

His love for children and his vision to make a tangible difference in the community of Plettenberg Bay and the surrounding areas is noticeable in recent local newspaper articles. He is one of the editors of an interschool magazine, in which he shares his ideas and offers advice.

This young man worked abroad and gained much experience and expertise in his field. After returning to South Africa he realised that he had an interest and place in special needs education.

He believes in the following: "Even the smallest star shines in the dark ".

Category: Excellence in Adult Basic Education & Training

Bernadette Bailey
Worcester Community Learning Centre, Worcester

Ms Bailey, the Worcester CLC Centre Manager, is rendering an excellent service. Her impressive and transformational management style makes her an ambassador for adult basic education and training. Her sound judgment has contributed to the mammoth strides her centre has made in the community and surrounding areas. These strides are illustrated by the substantial increase in the number of learners who have enrolled at the Worcester CLC. The said CLC comprises of 13 sites and provides learning opportunities to 1371 learners from Levels 1 - 4 and Grade 12.

Ms Bailey is a team player and a team leader. She treats everyone with respect and manages her learning-centre tasks with aplomb. She is always willing to make the CLC's resources available to various government departments, and most noticeably the WCED.

Amongst others, the Worcester CLC has commenced with very successful skills development programmes, which contribute to poverty alleviation by creating opportunities for learners to be economically active. In order to create more opportunities, the CLC introduced Travel and Tourism at Level 4.

The manner in which the learning centre has proactively and creatively engaged with the learners has made this a community-friendly learning centre. The helpful approach of the centre manager has ensured that client care and service is provided by the centre's educators through their inspiring and innovative engagements with the learners.

Ms Bernadette Bailey is indeed a laudable recipient of this prestigious award.

Category: Lifetime Achievement Award

Rosaline Makan
Dellville Park Primary School, Pacaltsdorp

During the illustrious and influential career of Ms Rosaline Makan, that spans over 47 years, she endeavored to provide an excellent service to the school communities she served.

Ms Makan has used her vast experience, knowledge and skills to identify the strengths and weaknesses of her learners and identifying appropriate strategies to address these challenges. With her knowledge and experience she prepares her lessons meticulously to suit the learners with diverse needs.

She has also led by example and has encouraged her colleagues to render services to the community. This manifested itself in the range of critical goals of the school, from consistent brand delivery, teaching and process excellence, exceptional customer service and a commitment to innovation, learning and growth. She has also effectively influenced many senior management teams into becoming more focused on results than on effort.

She is most definitely a real inspiration to anyone in education. She is a life-long learner and has demonstrated this by continually improving her qualifications. Even in her year of retirement she still encouraged educators to attend a computer course with her. She has also completed ACE courses in Language, Mathematics and curriculum leadership.

Her commitment, dedication and managerial ability have earned her the respect of teachers, learners and parents. Rosaline Makan is indeed a most deserving recipient of this prestigious award.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

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