Top honours for local teacher

2015-11-18 06:00
WINNER: Kamohelo Ratsiu of the Mokwena Primary School in Thaba Nchu is one of the ­teachers who were honoured at the provincial leg of the National Teaching Awards function in Bloemfontein on Friday (13/11).   Photo: Sidwell Guduka

WINNER: Kamohelo Ratsiu of the Mokwena Primary School in Thaba Nchu is one of the ­teachers who were honoured at the provincial leg of the National Teaching Awards function in Bloemfontein on Friday (13/11). Photo: Sidwell Guduka

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FREE STATEteachers who go beyond the call of duty were honoured at the provincial leg of the National Teaching Awards held at Ilanga Estate, Bloemfontein, on Friday (13/11).

The glittering event, in its 15th year, was hosted by the Free State Department of Education. The finalists in all 11 categories were present.

Speaking at the function, Prof. David Ngidi, dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, said the mere fact that the finalists had made it to provincial level meant that they were winners.

Ngidi told the provincial finalists that there were exciting new programmes the CUT had introduced and plan to offer from 2017, and that the CUT would like to work with them, because they were good.

He was, however, quick to warn them.

“Good is the enemy of great – that is one of the reasons why so few become great. We do not have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great teachers, principally because we have good teachers. We don’t have great principals, principally because we have good principals,” said Ngidi.

“Few people attain great lives, precisely because it is easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of people never become great precisely because they become quite good – you must not be like them.”

Tate Makgoe, MEC of Education, commended the teachers for their contribution to the country.

“You shouldn’t look at teaching as a career or a job. Teaching is a calling. It is the kind of job you would do without being paid,” said Makgoe.

Kamohelo Ratsiu, recipient of the award for excellence in teaching Mathematics at primary school level, expressed his delight with receiving the award.

“I am so excited. This came as a complete surprise to me. I really never thought I could be the winner,” Ratsiu told Express.

“In 2013 I was nominated in the same category. Though I won at the district level that year, I couldn’t win the provincial award,” said this teacher of the Mokwena Primary School in Thaba Nchu.

Ratsiu and the winners of other categories will represent the Free State at the National Teaching Awards next year.

The complete list of winners are:

  • Motsehoa Monthso (lifetime achievement award);
  • Makgokolotso Moremoholo (excellence in gr. R teaching);
  • Chrisna Wessels (excellence in special needs and inclusive education);
  • Sarah Hattingh (excellence in primary school teaching);
  • Chris Thomas (excellence in primary school leadership);
  • Kamohelo Ratsiu (excellence in teaching Mathematics: primary school);
  • Sphiwe Sibanyoni (excellence in teaching natural sciences);
  • Benette Brits (excellence in secondary school teaching;
  • Conrad Venter (excellence in secondary school leadership);
  • Johan van Niekerk (excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning);
  • Mokete Lebitso (excellence in teaching Mathematics: secondary schools); and
  • Ngaka Ralekoala (excellence in teaching Physical Science).

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