As the world learns to adapt to living under the “new normal”, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has applauded South African teachers for saving the academic year. Motshekga says teachers are the pillars of the basic education system and deserve to be honoured.
Today marks World Teachers’ Day with this year’s theme “Teachers: Leading in crisis, re-imagining the future.” The day is aimed at highlighting teachers’ efforts during a pandemic.
Motshekga honoured teachers at the Mamelodi Teachers Centre, east of Pretoria. Teaching amid a pandemic has proven to be a challenging task but teachers have stepped to the challenge to ensure that learning continues.
Minister Motshekga has thanked all teachers for saving the academic year during these tough times. She also thanked the more than 400 000 educators who choose to remain in the country at a time where their skills are highly sought overseas.
“We are proud of the calibre of our teachers that we have in our system. Thanks for staying in South Africa and secondly for staying in public schools. We are aware that teachers work with unfavourable conditions generated by environmental factors such as the prevalence of crime, poverty and many of the diseases. Your qualifications are in demand beyond our borders. Thank you for staying and we already honour you for that.”
Minister Motshekga addresses the media in Mamelodi:
Teaching during a pandemic
The South African Council for Educators (SACE) says while teaching under the pandemic posed a lot of challenges to educators, this period has also demonstrated their resilience and compassion as they risked their lives to put the country’s children first.
“Educators experienced fear, they experienced anxiety, and they experienced frustrations and challenging working environments. They experienced deaths of colleagues and loved ones in their families but also in their communities. Notwithstanding all these challenges and constraints that I’m mentioning, the teaching profession and educators alike showed multi facets and foresight leadership that deserved to be applauded by all of us,” says CEO Ella Mogalane.
Those on the front line say although teaching during this time is proving to be a challenge, they have found ways to make do with what is available.
“It is not easy because learners are rotating and we end up repeating the topics. You find that sometimes you need to teach one topic many times, maybe for a month. We found ourselves with overcrowding which is a challenge across the country but then we have come up with a program to cover as much work as possible. It has been very challenging but we are working with what we have,” says a teacher.
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