Orient Heights teacher recognised for passion to ensure pupils are inspired

2017-10-09 13:52
Local teacher Perumal Govender (55) scooped the grand prize at the annual Woolworths Teacher’s Day awards last Friday.

Local teacher Perumal Govender (55) scooped the grand prize at the annual Woolworths Teacher’s Day awards last Friday. (Kerushun Pillay)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg teacher Perumal Govender has for years made a special effort to ensure his pupils are inspired to reach for the stars — and now he’s been recognised  for it.

Govender (55), a maths teacher and acting principal at Orient Heights Primary School, was selected out of some 19 000 entrants nationally for the grand prize of the Woolworths Teacher’s Day competition in Cape Town last Friday. The award honours teachers who make a difference to the lives of pupils.

Entrants were nominated by their school’s pupils, who had to submit a motivation letter.

The Raisethorpe resident told The Witness that the nomination and victory both came as a surprise.

“It’s a humbling experience to know that the children appreciate what you do for them. I don’t expect things like this to happen for teachers.”

Govender said finalists were interviewed by a panel last month. “They asked us questions about why we teach, our thoughts on education. The entire point of my talk was about the caring nature of our school.”

He said judges were impressed by his commitment to ensuring pupils — many of whom come from poor backgrounds — are given what they need to perform at school.

Govender explained: “In order to level the playing field, I want each child to have the same thing, so there’s no feeling of inferiority. It helps to build their self esteem.

“Even when the [Khan Road] squatter camp got burnt recently, our children came the next morning and we gave them uniforms, food and stationery. We want them in school and not on the street.”

He added: “It’s not about the handouts — it’s about giving them what they need and letting them move forward.”

Govender, whose day begins at 6.30 am and finishes after 4 pm, placed emphasis on the personal development of the pupils.

“It’s not only about curriculum and passing the year. Making a difference through inspirational care is important. And it’s heartwarming to know all the hard work we do is appreciated.”

Govender said the finalists were given “VIP treatment” at the finals in Cape Town, where they were chauffeur-driven to and from events.

“The [hotel] we stayed in ... there were more sports cars parked on the streets outside than I’d seen in my whole life. It was a different experience,” he said.

He won R30 000 in Woolworths gift cards, R25 000 in cash, a laptop and an all-expenses paid weekend away for two in Cape Town.

Govender said he plans to give some of his winnings to charity. “I’m not a person for money. I still drive my 1984 Corolla.” 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  excelling teachers

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.