National award a pleasant surprise for local teacher

2015-03-16 00:00

DESPITE her own disability, Pietermaritzburg resident Saseraka Naicker has been recognised for her outstanding work with the disabled within the local teaching fraternity.

Naicker won the Kha Ri Gude Inclusive Education Volunteer Supervisor award at the recent National Teachers Awards held in Midrand.

Naicker, who is visually impaired, said she was pleasantly surprised when she was announced as the winner.

“When I received the nomination I was very honoured. I received local accolades before but nothing on a national level so I really didn’t expect to win,” she said.

Naicker works at the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) FET College in the Pietermaritzburg CBD. However, she trains teachers who educate pupils as a part of the Kha Ri Gude ­campaign and was nominated by the KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society for the National Teacher Award.

Naicker was a teacher in Johannesburg, and lost most of her sight, “only being able to see outlines of figures”, when she became pregnant in 1990.

She was medically boarded but began working at the Arthur Blaxall School for the Blind in Pietermaritzburg. She slowly regained some sight but is still regarded as being highly visually impaired.

“Even though I won the award, credit needs to be given to my teachers, pupils and those who have gone through the system, to be able to work at their full potential and make use of their talents,” she said.

Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign was launched in February 2008 to enable 4,7 million adults between the ages of 15 and 85 to become literate and numerate in one of the 11 official languages.

The campaign targeted vulnerable groups where 80% were women, 25% were the youth, 20% were above the age of 60 and eight percent were disabled.

As part of her award, Naicker won numerous prizes including cash, a cellphone and a tablet.

Lincoln Meade resident Patricia ­Schrade was also recognised at the awards. She was named South Africa’s best teacher in the Grade R category at the National Teachers Awards. She teaches in a peri-urban school.

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