18 October 2023
The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has launched a campaign to let the province’s teachers know how much they are valued.
The campaign uses the hashtag #ThankaTeacher to share stories of the positive impact a teacher has had on the lives of the children in their class.
To get the campaign started, the WCED recorded testimonials from former learners and parents of current learners detailing how a teacher inspired, cared for and went the extra mile to support them.
View videos here: https://wcedonline.westerncape.gov.za/thankateacher
Mthawelanga Ndengane, who holds a doctorate in Microbiology, reinforced the saying that teaching is the mother of all professions when he recounted how a teacher at Windermere Secondary School influenced his educational journey.
Ndengane had the opportunity to thank Kevin van Blommenstein, a retired Physical Sciences and Biology teacher, in person at the school in Kensington, Cape Town.
Sinoxolo Maki, a Mathematics and Physical Sciences teacher, had high praise for Tokyo Mchunu, a Physical Sciences teacher at Thandokhulu High School in Mowbray. Mchunu made sure learners were able to attend Saturday classes by paying for their transport. He introduced early morning classes to help learners excel in Physics.
Maki thanked Mchunu for always going the extra mile for his learners and said the Class of 2017 and every learner at Thandokhulu would agree that Mchunu was a source of motivation to each of them.
Marinda le Roux, an Afrikaans teacher at Bloubergrant High School, received recognition for helping learners to believe in themselves and offering extra Afrikaans lessons. Le Roux raised funds for the school’s matric dance and prepared soup and sandwiches for learners in winter. Khanya Ndumiso, a Grade 12 learner, and his mother, Ntombi, said Le Roux deserved to be thanked.
Yanga Mahlathini’s son is currently in Grade 1 at Vista Nova Primary School. She thanked his teacher, Rajes Francis, for “being a mother” to the children in her class. “As a special needs teacher, you are very patient and understanding of our kids, I will not forget the day you knitted cute, beautiful cat hats for them to wear in this cold winter. You didn’t even want a cent for the hats, you did that out of the goodness of your heart.”
Francis said it was nice to be acknowledged and in her 42 years of teaching, she strived to treat the children in her class as her own.
David Maynier, Minister of Education Western Cape, said we all have a teacher who has had a lasting positive influence on our lives, or our children’s lives, and these teachers deserve to be acknowledged. “This recognition makes a massive difference to our teachers and encourages them as they continue to support our children.”
Maynier invited the public to take part in the campaign. “Let your special teacher know how much you value the work they have done, by posting your words of appreciation on social media using the hashtag #ThankaTeacher.”