… And so said all of us at this week’s ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Awards Gala Dinner which saw the announcement of Amandla Vinjwa as ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year, Marina Myburgh as ISPA TechTeacher of the Year and Mokhudu Machaba as ISPA MobileTech Teacher of the Year.
The awards were part of the annual iWeek conference and exhibition hosted by South Africa’s Internet Service Provider’s Association (ISPA). The country’s premier ICT in education awards are a much-anticipated fixture of iWeek which is being held in Durban for the first time this year.
On being named ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year, Vinjwa says: “The ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year competition is said to be a life-changing experience. I really believe that and I am going to continue to work hard this year to ensure that the competition not only changes my life for the better, but also the lives of my learners in particular.”
ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year category winners best demonstrated to the competition’s judges how they used their new-found knowledge after participating in ICT training sponsored by South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) and its members, and managed by the Digital Education Institute (DEI). This was the first year that the competition featured the “MobileTech” category.
According to Sharon Ries of DEI: “The ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year Awards are well respected in education circles, both for their longevity and for the huge role the Awards have played in terms of encouraging teachers to pioneer ICT in their classrooms.
“We fully expect the ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year, ISPA TechTeacher of the Year and ISPA MobileTech Teacher of the Year to proudly follow the excellent example of their peers who went before them and proved to be such outstanding ambassadors for ICT in education.”
The teacher project has equipped over 5 000 teachers with ICT skills thanks to continued support from ISPA’s members who pledged their further support at the Monday evening dinner. In the last three years alone, some 350 educators and district officials have been trained in different ICT courses.
DEI Project Manager, Milford Malunga, said: “The required projects submitted by the 10 ISPA SuperTeacher of the Year finalists reflected the growing influence and importance of the wider, all-encompassing digital environment, and especially the mobile environment.
“This is the first year that a mobile technology category was introduced in the competition and, as far as we know, it is the first time that a category like this has been used. To our surprise, it was the most popular category.”
Malunga says the 2017 competition judges included Dorcas Tabane (ISPA), Dr Hintsa Mhlane (KZN Education Department), Megan Rademeyer (SchoolNet) and Jenny King (Consultant). The finalists who were in the running for the three awards were as follows:
Anel Flack (Hoerskool Standerton), Peter Lekolwane (Diopong Primary School), Mokhudu Machaba (Ngwanamago Primary), Matema Jacobeth Malatji (Diopong Primary School), Marina Myburgh (Crawford College Sandton), Dimakatso Sefora (Saron), Mokgethoa Ingrid Sethemane (Mashile Primary), Amandla Vinjwa (Sivile Primary School), Mmatjie Olivia Rasehlo (Toronto Primary) and Flora Lepota Mokaba (Badimong Primary).
The eventual three competition winners received several prizes from sponsors.
Hearshaw and Kinnes Analytic Laboratory sponsored wireless two terabyte hard-drives for the winners and Edit Microsystems contributed big Shox wireless speakers.
In addition, the Mighty Pen Education magazine (www.themightypen.co.za) offered the winners a free lifetime subscription to the digital magazine, while the principals of the winning schools will also receive the digital magazine and may freely distribute it to their staff. The magazine will also offer the winning schools a free double page spread feature to be used as a school profile highlighting the history and achievements of the school.
Meanwhile, WASPA sponsored Samsung tablets and a voucher for one year’s airtime for each of the three winners — as well as accommodation and a one day workshop on “Creating an effective and safe digital persona” for all the finalists in the 2017 SuperTeachers Competition.