October 5th marked World Teachers' Day, aimed at appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world. The day enables a worldwide celebration of the teaching profession, and addresses some of the issues central for attracting and keeping the brightest talents in the profession.
This World Teachers' Day, the Adopt-a-School Foundation held its 13th Back to School Party fundraiser. Adopt-a-School, a partner entity of Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, implements a Whole School Development model in over 590 Schools. The model aims to provide disadvantaged rural schools with adequate teaching and learning environments and resources; strengthened leadership of school management; brick-and-mortar structures; and improved social welfare of learners.
The Back to School Party included a celebration of teachers for their commitment to educating the future leaders of our country. Awards were bestowed for the best performing, most sustainable and most improved schools under the Foundation’s adoption programme.
The Chairperson of Adopt-a-School, President Cyril Ramaphosa, applauded all the schools who were nominated. “We are very proud of the dedication that they have shown to their learners and the pride they have taken in their work. It is important for educators to not only have the talent of teaching, but the passion for the profession,” he said.
Thandokhulu and Lehlasedi High Schools, adopted by the Industrial Development Corporation, were awarded the best-performing and most-improved schools, while Lodirile Secondary School, supported by Sasria and Adapt IT, was honoured for the most-sustainable school. It has achieved a pass rate of between 90 and 100 percent over a three-year period.
Ms Patricia Kamusoko, physical science educator at Eketsang Secondary School, was presented with the best Physical Science Educator Award for achieving a 100-percent pass rate for her 2018 matric class, with over 60 percent of learners achieving bachelor passes.
Banyana Mohajane, Head of Programmes at Adopt-a-School Foundation, said the Whole School Development model involves a holistic approach to improving schools.
“It focuses on the academic, infrastructural, social and security environment, and also encourages educators to own the profession of teaching.
“Over and above this, we monitor the quality of passes. The schools awarded this year are ensuring more than 50% of their learners are eligible for university entrance,” she said. Since its inception in 2002, Adopt-a-School has upskilled 33,370 educators through educator workshops, tools, baseline assessments and guidance. The primary goal of these interventions is to enhance educator and learner performance, improve reading with comprehension, and writing and arithmetic abilities to compete at global standards.