Gardens Commercial High School Principal wins MOT award
17 November 2023
MOT South Africa presented Dylan Tommy, Principal of Gardens Commercial High School in Cape Town, with an award in recognition of his commitment, inclusivity and efforts to support the youth and his community, and for living the MOT values and principles in his daily life.
More than 200 guests, including educators, high school principals and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges attended the MOT Enthusiasts Gathering in Pinelands to celebrate MOT South Africa’s 15th birthday.
One of the critical issues that MOT addresses is the challenges faced by the youth, including school dropouts, substance abuse, cyberbullying and mental health issues.
MOT's impact on academic success was highlighted by Timothy McBride, a lecturer in the Institute for Post-School Studies at the University of the Western Cape.
McBride's research showed that participants in MOT programmes achieved, on average, an 18% higher subject pass rate and a 12% higher completion rate for courses. Moreover, around 95% of participants indicated that MOT programmes made a significant difference in their lives.
MOT recognised outstanding individuals, their partnering high schools and community organisations with Best Practice Awards.
Melissa Richards, an educator and MOT Coordinator from Zeekoevlei Secondary School, was named the MOT Coach of the Year, while Gardens Commercial High School received the MOT School of the Year award for its commitment to the MOT programme.
The Are Hovstad Award was presented to Tommy for taking Gardens Commercial from just participating in MOT to becoming a true MOT school.
In his nomination, it was noted, "There is a permanent white plate on his desk with a sandwich, for the shy learner that does not like to receive her sandwich in front of other learners. A heart so big that buys school shoes and stationery if needed. The most precious gift anyone can give is time, something that money can’t buy.
“Knowing that our learners face adversity, Mr. Tommy sometimes comes into school on a Saturday to make sure that the child without the necessary resources can finish an assignment using the school's resources. He waters the plants (literally) and takes care of the garden like it's part of his job description."
Tracey-Lee Hendricks, a Grade 9 learner at Zeekoevlei Secondary School, who attended the event, said: "The biggest lesson I’ve learnt from the MOT Programme is to show courage and be brave, no matter how difficult things may be."
The event showcased the amazing and magical experiences that MOT has created over its 15 years in South Africa, and it underlined the organization's commitment to continue making a positive impact on the lives of South African youth.