Second Teachers For Change Winner: Carla Grobler

By admin
12 March 2013

Maths teacher Carla Grobler has won 21 iPads and Oxford books for her and her high school learners

3 WEEKS AGO Tyger Valley College teacher, Carla Grobler (29), got a knock on her classroom door from the headmaster, Gary Sim. Like a pupil called into the headmaster’s office, Carla was worried that she was in trouble. But instead Gary had news that would put a smile on Carla’s face. “Mr Sim told me that I had won a competition,” says Carla. But Carla hadn’t entered a competition, so it all came as her surprise to her. “My friend entered me into the Teachers for Change competition because of the outreach programmes I’m involved with at Tyger Valley College.” YOU, Huisgenoot and DRUM decided to reward the country’s 12 best teachers with valuable technological and other resources that could change the way they teach. Carla, from Tyer Valley College in Pretoria East, is the winner for March. She is one of the 12 teachers of Teachers for Change, of the year.

“You don’t do the work in hope to get recognition but it’s great when people acknowledge the work that you do.” It is hard not to take note of a woman who has a long list of outreach programmes that she is heading with the help of pupils from Tyger Valley College. Last year the outreach club that she heads, was involved with nine charities and was busy with over 14 outreach projects. Some of the work she and her team have done, include establishing and painting a library at Boschkop Primary School, as well as painting road maps at the Kungwini Early Learning Center in Pretoria east, to teach learners the rules of the road. “We did a road map on their playground and we gave them little cars to explain the rules of the road.”

CARLA sat down with YOU at the school stands holding a piece of paper with a list of the projects. Each time you thought it was the last project on the list; Carla had another one and then one again, e.g. handing out food parcels as part of a feeding scheme for Boschkop Primary School and then collecting Valentine’s Day chocolates for residents at Willow Haven Retirement Center. Carla says the aim was to remind those neglected that they are still loved. The Outreach Club works very closely with Boschkop Primary School which is in Pretoria East.

Last year Carla and her team set up a library at Boschkop Primary School for its learners. “The primary school didn’t have a library, so we turned one of their vacant classrooms into a library.” They repainted the room, installed some shelves and packed them with textbooks. “We have now started a tutor programme with them. We go and reinforce literacy and numeracy skills. Ten Tyger Valley College students in grade 10 -12 go to the Boschkop library every Monday fortnight to teach the learners there. “The Boschkop kids really enjoy it and I think it’s because they are taught by young people. They are so excited about it and our kids are also learning at the same time.” The library is still at the pilot phase, but as once everything is in place, Carla says they’ll take the tutor programme to another school, Lesedi High School. Lesedi High School is within Tyger Valley’s community.

“Ms Grobler motivates us and helps us take note of people who are less privileged than us. She teaches us to learn to appreciate what we have,” says Phophi Singo (17) a grade 11 pupil and from Tyger Valley College. Something that the Tyger Valley pupils will appreciate are the Telkom sponsored Teachers For Change prize of 20 iPads from iSchoolAfrica and Oxford books worth R20 000. Carla also won an iPad training course and her own iPad sponsored by iSchoolAfrica.

“I’m so excited about the iPads. The technology will benefit the students because they use technology a lot. Everything that the learners do is done either with a cell phone or an iPad, for example. So I think it can only make them better and more knowledgeable,” says Carla.

If one person makes a difference and then another joins them, we’ll be able to make a bigger difference in the country,” says Carla. And tips for other teachers trying to make a difference? “Be passionate about your job, show enthusiasm and expect quality from your students. Use your time wisely and always keep an open mind.”

For more about Carla, buy this week’s YOU, Huisgenoot or DRUM magazine.


We would like to thank Ms Marlene Jordaan of The Hill Spar in Pretoria for supplying the drinks and snacks for the event.

We would also like to thank our sponsor Telkom, for their generous donation. And a special thank you to iSchoolAfrica and Oxford University Press for their involvement.

What did Carla win:

  • iPad mobile lab: 20 iPads and covers, Macbook Air, projector, App allowance and app guides sponsored by Telkom
  • iPad and cover for teacher: sponsored by iSchoolAfrica
  • Teacher training: sponsored and facilitated by iSchoolAfrica
  • Oxford school books worth R20 000

iSchoolAfrica says:

“We are happy that teachers like Carla are being celebrated, not just for their passion for education, but for their selfless community service as well. We are excited to have Tyger Valley College on the iSchoolAfrica iPad Learning Programme and we look forward to seeing how Carla and her colleagues integrate the iPads into the work they do." – Michele Lissoos, Project Director of iSchoolAfrica

Oxford University Press says:

“I am very impressed with the way that Ms Carla Bouwer and the learners at Tyger Valley are uplifting the other schools in their area. This is the way that we will make South Africa better place. This is the way that we can make sure that more and more learners in our beautiful country get equal opportunities to better themselves. We at Oxford are proud to be associated Carla and the learners at Tyger Valley College.” - Botho Mothibi Schools Director

Telkom says:

Teachers are vital in ensuring the success of the drive to improve education. For this reason, it is imperative to give special recognition to those who stretch themselves beyond ordinary limits, whose hearts are in the right place and who remain positive despite the difficulties. Telkom is a proud and priviledged partner of the Teachers for Change initiative, and wish Carla all the best. – Nathi Kunene, Telkom Foundation

List of charities Tyger Valley help:

  • Paul Jungnickel Home
  • Kungwini Early Learning Centre (KELC) Swavelpoort, Boschkop, Lethabong
  • Boschkop Primary School
  • Vuka Primary School
  • Itumeleng Shelter
  • Tshwane Haven
  • Wet Nose
  • The Voice of Daniel centre

Photos by Dino Codevilla

Written by Katlego Mkhwanazi


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