Press release: KZN again scoops ‘Super Teacher of the Year’ awardPublished on: 2006-09-11
Principal Caleb Bhengu of Esigodini Primary School in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal was honoured with the Internet Service Providers’ Association of SA’s (ISPA) “Super Teacher of the Year” award at a ceremony in Johannesburg last week.
Having competed against 22 other educators from Gauteng, North West and KwaZulu-Natal who were selected to participate in the “Super Teacher of the Year” awards from 204 teachers in total this year, the two runners up were Principal Florence Fhatuwani Matshusa from Nyadzani Secondary School in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo and Principal Mmipe George Mokgehle of Kokona Dikgale Primary School in Polokwane.
The “Super Teacher of the Year” award acknowledges the educator that has most successfully imparted their newly-acquired IT knowledge to their local communities after participating in ISPA’s national “Train the Teachers” project. The award ceremony was part of ISPA’s annual iWeek conference, which took place last week at the Castle in Kyalami, Midrand.
Speaking at the award function, Principal Bhengu said: “There is a famous quote that says time and tide waits for no man. Well, the fact that we live in the information age highlights the need for individuals to become computer literate. I am proud to say that about 70% of the staff at Esigodini Primary School are now computer literate and this has had a tremendous impact on our productivity. Gone are the days when teachers needed to approach the clerk when preparing schedules, examination papers and invitations. Our computer centre awards teachers the opportunity to accomplish all their tasks in a fraction of the time than conventional methods would have normally allowed. As an educator, I perceived it to be my responsibility to take action for the benefit of our school and ultimately our community.”
Mr Bhengu was conferred the award on the grounds that he anticipated a great opportunity to become a pillar of strength in his community through education. The computer centre is fully utilised day and night by scholars, teachers and the community at large. Mr Bhengu recognised the need for computer literacy in his region and demonstrated his leadership qualities by learning himself, the success of which is visible in other areas of the school’s development.
The project is designed to help alleviate computer literacy problems experienced in schools and is funded principally by UniForum SA. Since the inception of the initiative in 2001, over 1000 teachers have been successfully trained in the space of five years. The ISPA’s social development committee is all geared up for the next season of teacher training, set to commence during the September 2006 vacation.
Overall, educators from seven schools in Gauteng, North West and KwaZulu Natal were trained on OpenOffice 2 by approved Open Source Lecturers and SETA (Sector Education & Training Authority) accredited Assessors from Avuxeni Computer Academy.
ISPA and UniForum SA are official partners of the “Train the Teacher” project and sponsors include Internet Solutions, Internet Society (South African Chapter), The Department of Communications, MTN Network Solutions, SNO Telecommunications and Storm.
For further information, please contact the ISPA secretariat on the Contact ISPA page.