I felt like I won against the New Zealand All Blacks

“I felt like
I won against the
New Zealand,
All Blacks”

That moment I won, it felt like I just played and won against the New Zealand, All Blacks,” said Klapmuts Primary School Principal, Ronald Frans, on hearing his name being announced as the Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement award winner at the National Teaching Awards in Johannesburg on 16 February 2019.

“It was very emotional, to be awarded this highest honour,” Frans told WCED News.

Klapmuts Primary School teacher Ronald Frans and Bishops Diocesan College’s Olga Peel were among 33 teachers awarded for their contribution to education.

Frans received the Lifetime Achievement Award while Peel achieved third place for the Kader Asmal Excellence Award.

“I feel humbled, blessed and fulfilled and it has shown that all my hard work paid off. The cherry on the cake is that it will help my school, its learners and the community of Klapmuts to reach new heights. It just showed that the ‘impossible is possible’ and ‘if you think it you can do it’,” said Frans.

Mr Frans has served in education since 1981 and has played a vital role in many leadership positions.  He became the Principal of Klapmuts Primary School in 1994 and has created a school culture where the community views the school as a beacon of hope. As a result, break-ins and vandalism have been prevented.   

Mr Frans has worked tirelessly towards his vision of seeing the school fully integrating the use of technology for teaching and learning. He stated in his interview to the Provincial Awards panel that, “long before the game changers and route the WCED is currently undertaking with Information Technology integration, the school already worked towards the vision”.

He fostered relations with several companies and the school has since received 12 smart classrooms, data projectors for 40 classrooms and 42 tablets through sponsorship. The school’s Computer Centre with 98 computers (received from various donors) in two computer rooms provides internet access to both learners and the community.

As part of preparing teachers for full ICT integration in teaching and learning, all teachers were trained in Google Apps and have completed CTLI training in integrating ICT in the classroom.

Mr Frans saw the need for classroom assistants and applied and was awarded funding of R 100 000 over a two-year period from the Cape Winelands Auction Trust. This enabled the school to appoint 24 Foundation Phase classroom assistants, who are all either previous learners from Klapmuts PS who have matriculated or unemployed qualified teachers. This intervention helped to improve Grade 3 results.

Mr Frans built strong relationships with the British High Commission and Swedish NGOs to help fund his vision of uplifting and empowering the community by starting a number of sustainable projects such as gardening, needlework and various education excursions for the youth of Klapmuts. He lives by the belief that if you “give a man a fish and you feed him for one day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.

Mr Frans has made a remarkable impact in the school community that he diligently serves. His legacy is to ensure that the school will continue to play a vital role in uplifting the community, but more so the learners – giving them hope to rise above their circumstances and better themselves to take up their rightful place as active economic citizens of the country.

We salute you Mr Frans and congratulations on this well-deserved award!