Third Teachers For Change winner – Amanda Ntsumpa

By Drum Digital
16 April 2013

Amanda Ntsumpa (49), the principal of Vukanibantu Primary School in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, is our third Teachers for Change winner.

SHE keeps an overall at school for when she cleans the bathrooms in the mornings or picks up rubbish on the school premises. But Amanda Ntsumpa (49) isn’t a cleaner. She’s the principal of Vukanibantu Primary School in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth.

“By living unselfishly we can all make a difference in the community,” says Amanda, the third of 12 winners in YOU’s Teachers for Change project in which we aim to empower educators countrywide with technology.

Among Amanda’s prizes are 21 iPads for her and her learners. There’s no sign of the overall today though; she’s all dressed up for the glitzy handover function at the school. The sponsors speak, the choir sings and throughout the proceedings Amanda has a broad smile on her face and shakes her head from time to time as if she still can’t believe she’s won.

Amanda has been principal here since April 2011. Before that she was deputy head at another school in Motherwell. “It was great getting to a position where I could implement the plans I had.” And the teachers and parents of Vukanibantu could see an immediate difference.

“As an English teacher she quickly organised the learners into teams to take part in a department spelling competition,” Thenjelwa Albia, the teacher who nominated Amanda for the prize, says.

Her subject is very important to her, Amanda says. “Our children must learn how to express themselves in the world language; they must be good communicators.” That’s why she works after hours with game and debating teams so she’s on hand if the learners have any questions.

When Thenjelwa heard her nomination had been successful, and that Amanda and Vukanibantu had won, she was overwhelmed. “My phone rang during break. I shouted with joy and couldn’t stop shaking. I dreamt of computers for the school. It’s going to change the way we teach; our children are going to be the best.”

Amanda agrees. “Technology is essential in modern society. But schools such as ours often lag behind. The iPads, together with the wonderful new books from Oxford University Press, will make us and the kids enthusiastic to read and learn again.”

This competition is a miracle, a blessing for a society that really needs good news, she says. And she repeats the refrain over and over: “It’s not me; it’s the community and the teachers. Everyone helped.” Even in her acceptance speech, Amanda says the day is actually about Thenjelwa – her “pillar of strength” who had the vision to enter the competition.

THANK YOU

We would like to thank Kevin Klette from Zonke Superspar in Motherwell for supplying the drinks and snacks for the event.

WHAT DID AMANDA WIN

  • iPad mobile lab: 20 iPads and covers, a MacBook Air, projector, app allowance and app guides sponsored by KNOMO
  • iPad and cover for teacher: sponsored by iSchoolAfrica
  • Teacher training: sponsored by KNOMO and facilitated by iSchoolAfrica
  • Oxford University Press school books worth R20 000

KNOMO says:

“On behalf of Knomo, I was extremely proud to hand over the iPad lab to Vukanibantu Primary, a school that not only shows commitment to education and growth of students but is also dedicated to growing students into the future doctors, lawyers and leaders of South Africa. I was humbled by the warmth of the teachers and students when I arrived at the school, and enjoyed chatting to the teachers about the possibilities of what iPads could do in raising the bar from an education point of view.”

- Nikki Friedman, accessories brand manager, The Core Group (PTY) Ltd

iSchoolAfrica says:

"We are thrilled to welcome Vukanibantu Primary School to the iSchoolAfrica iPad Learning Programme. Ms Ntsumpa's commitment to education, inspirational leadership qualities and ongoing commitment to improving her school, make her an example to all South African teachers. We look forward to seeing the impact the mobile iPad labs have on the school of such a resourceful and active member of the community."

- Michelle Lissoos, iSchoolAfrica project director

Oxford University Press says:

“Vukanibantu Primary School is a better place since the arrival of its principal, Amanda Ntsumpa. This is what Teachers for Change is all about, teachers such as Amanda making a real difference, involving businesses, parents and the community to improve education for all learners.”

- Botho Mothibi, schools director, Oxford University Press

See a gallery of all the photos here.

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