City woman takes passion for teaching to rural school

2015-03-11 00:00

LINCOLN Meade resident Patricia Schrade, with just two years of teaching experience under her belt, was recognised as the best Grade R teacher in the country at the weekend.

Schrade, who teaches at the no-fee paying Nyanda Primary School in Vulindlela outside of Pietermaritzburg, was named South Africa’s best teacher in the Grade R category at the National Teachers Awards, held on Saturday in Midrand, for her instrumental work with the underprivileged community.

“People always ask, ‘Why is a white lady working here?’

“But I feel that during apartheid there was a lot of injustice done to underprivileged schools. Black rural schools didn’t have all opportunities and were at a disadvantage. No child should be excluded from school and every child should be educated to their full potential,” she explained.

Schrade was praised by the principal of the school, Zandile Sibisi, as not only an asset to her school but to the community and the district.

“She is able to provide our school with valuable information from the Internet. The information she gives is so helpful that other schools in the area come to us for assistance. Most of the children who attend our school come from impoverished backgrounds and cannot afford to study at English schools in the city, because of school fees, uniforms and transport,” she said.

Sibisi said Schrade makes the sacrifice to travel from the city to the rural school because of her passion to work with the children at the school.

Sibisi added that pupils in Grade 1, whose home language is Zulu, are normally taught the syllabus in Zulu, however, since going through Schrader’s class in the previous year, the Grade 1 pupils could understand English better and were even able to be taught in English.

“She holds her students and gives them the love and warmth that they need. We are very proud to have her at our school,” the principal said.

Schrade said: “Teaching is not a profession, teaching is a passion. I am still studying towards my BEd, but a person goes through career changes till they find what they are good at. Every children is different and develops at their own pace.”

Added to the accolade, Schrade also received a Chevrolet Spark, cash, a cellphone, tablet and return flight tickets to any South African destination.

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