Mokhudu Cynthia Machaba of Ngwanamago Primary in Limpopo is the 2013 ISPA Super Teacher of the Year. The dedicated educator was presented with this accolade at a gala dinner which was the culmination of iWeek, South Africa’s premier Internet industry event.
Machaba received her award from the previous year’s winner, Sadike Welhemina Kekana of Toronto Primary School in Limpopo.

Speaking at the dinner hosted by the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) and CoZa Cares Foundation at Thaba Ya Batswana in Southern Johannesburg, Fiona Wallace of CoZa Cares said that Machaba had perfectly demonstrated to the selection committee that she had used her newly-acquired ICT skills for the benefit of her community.

“ISPA’s Super Teacher training programme places a high premium on skills transfer and the trickledown effect. It is absolutely essential to all programme sponsors that as many people as possible benefit from the IT training of teachers across South Africa’s neglected areas,” she says.

Wallce added that the 2013 instalment of the country’s leading IT empowerment programme targeting educators had also produced another category of winner.

“It’s fitting that in the year CoZa Cares has grown to become a standalone entity, we are able to introduce a Special Award that the committee has seen fit to bestow on Chipa Thomas Maimela of Lekota High School, also in Limpopo.”

Mabore Dorothy Lekalakala of Limpopo’s Toronto Primary was singled out for special mention after being named Runner Up.

The remaining six ISPA Super Teacher of the Year finalists included Thinavhuyo Silvia Mabannda, Motlalepula Sinah Mailula, Sekwati Patrick Matabane, Mosiwa Simon Matlebjane, Mmatsididi Anna Magoro and Keonethebe Victor Nthebe. All came in for special mention as being from a particularly high calibre group of educators this year.

After taking the podium Machaba expressed her surprise, and ultimate delight, at being named ISPA’s 2013 Super Teacher of the Year.

“I became an educator to help uplift the people I saw around me. Now that I am an IT literate educator, I am able to help more members of my community, much faster.”

The finalists who participated in ISPA’s Teacher Training programme have flown to Johannesburg for three days of tours and workshops which take place during iWeek.

Each year ISPA, in partnership with CoZa Cares Foundation, funds ICT training for hundreds of teachers from under-resourced South African schools. Since the inception of the programme, training has been provided training to over 3 500 teachers thanks to the continued support provided by ISPA’s members.

CoZa Cares Foundation, previously the CSI arm of UniForum/ZACR, will integrate the ISPA training into its all-encompassing ICT Capacity Building programme in under-resourced South African schools.

“All of the winners and finalists present here this evening have made a tremendous and positive impact on their colleagues, learners and communities by using the IT skills they have learnt for the benefit of others. They have best understood that a skill learnt is of little use if kept to oneself – it must be transferred,” concludes Wallace.