KZN teachers win 6 awards

2007-11-20 00:00

One of the winners, Ansuyah Mahes of Woodlands Primary in the uMgungundlovu District, said the event was like living out her wildest dreams.

“The glamour, the glitz and the food was all very overwhelming … here we were sharing the stage with ministers. It was phenomenal, nostalgic and every nice word you can think of.”

Mahes said the experience has been the crowning moment of her career, which she won't forget as long as she lives.

She came third and was honoured for her contributions in the Early Childhood Development category, which caters for pupils from grade R to grade three.

“I have been teaching for 28 years now … every day we wake up and go beyond the call of duty because we have a passion for these children … being acknowledged outside of the classroom goes a long way and every one single teacher deserves it,” she said.

Ray Naicker, from the north coast, who took first place in the Excellence Life Time Achievement award, said he was greatly humbled by the experience.

“Initially I was feeling like a movie star and dazzled by all the glitz and glamour. My award is apparently the most prestigious, it was like the grand finale. But when I considered my background and recounted all the work we have been able to accomplish, it is definitely humbling,” he said.

Naicker took over Nonhlevu Secondary School in the Ilembe District, when it had only a four percent pass rate and was devastated by lawlessness.

After just three years of his seven-year term, he was able to turn things around, getting the pupils back in the classrooms and raising the pass rate to 80%.

“It was not an easy road to recovery. Parents had lost hope, they would come to me crying … but we were able to give them their dignity back and give their children the quality education they deserved,” he said.

Naicker has since been promoted to superintendent of education and ward manager at Umhlali, in KwaDukuza.

Other achievers included an educator at Dikane Secondary School, who came first in the Best Teacher category.

Two educators from the Empangeni District dominated the second positions in their respective fields, the Excellence Primary School Leadership and Excellence in Adult-Based Education and Training (Abet).

Education MEC Ina Cronjé and the department head, Dr Cassius Lubisi, said they are extremely proud of the KZN teachers.

“It is that extra effort to teach and guide our children that makes the difference. Well done, you have done us proud,” said Cronjé.

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