Top teachers who are using technology to make a difference in literacy and numeracy in South Africa’s classrooms were recognised last night at the ISP SuperTeacher Awards, one of the highlights of the annual iWeek conference taking place this week in Johannesburg.
Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services (DTPS) Minister Dr Siyabonga Cwele credited South African educators with introducing digital teaching tools in classrooms. “Learners today don’t respond well to blackboards. They want digital content in the classroom and teachers who know how to use it.”
Acknowledging that learner performance is linked to educator ICT knowledge, Cwele congratulated ISPA SuperTeacher 2016, Kedibone Makgato, on being chosen as the teacher who has best imparted her newly-acquired ICT knowledge to her learners, school and community.
ISPA SuperTeacher finalists must demonstrate to the annual competition’s judges exactly how they have best used their new-found knowledge after participating in ICT training partly sponsored by South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) and its members, and facilitated by CoZa Cares Foundation.
Makgato, of Toronto Primary School in Limpopo joined ISPA ChampTeacher of the Year 2016, Mokhudu Machaba of Ngwanamago Primary in Limpopo, and ISPA TechTeacher of the Year 2016, Erika Esterhuizen of St Andrews College in the Eastern Cape, on stage.
According to CoZa Cares Foundation CEO Fiona Wallace, sponsorship from ISPA members has over the years equipped over 5 000 teachers with ICT confidence, skills and leadership. In the last three years alone, some 750 school leaders, educators and district officials have been supported through a variety of professional development courses.
“All credit is due to Kedibone Makgato for working hard to be named as this year’s ISPA SuperTeacher who is surely set to become the latest ISPA SuperTeacher to use this prestigious competition as a springboard to even greater achievements, as so many of her peers have done,” says Wallace.
The judges of the now fully online competition, designed and developed by CoZa Cares, comprised a strongly representative cross-section of the South African education and ICT sphere. They included Sarah-Jane Capazario (ISPA), Dorcas Thabane (ISPA), Jenny King (e-Schools Network), Marcus Lamola (Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance – MGSLG), Neo Mothobi (Department of Basic Education, Pretoria), Megan Rademeyer (SchoolNet SA) and Clinton Walker (Western Cape Education Department).
The Internet industry gathering, iWeek, marked its 15th year by returning to Johannesburg from 19 to 23 September this year.