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National Teaching Awards: This profession is the most critical to building society, says Jeff Radebe

Bonile Khanyi

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga honoured the nations top performing teachers at a gala dinner for the 18th Annual National Teaching Awards (NTAs) at the Sandton Convention Centre in Gauteng.

On behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe delivered the keynote address at the prestigious event highlighting the important role teachers play in developing a society.

“Teaching is arguably the most critical profession in our endeavour to build a new society,” said Radebe.

“In a normative sense, we all know that teaching is a profession, but those who take the plunge and train as teachers, are actually answering a higher calling to bring light to the nation,” Radebe said. 

He said the contribution of teachers was “immeasurable” and urged the teachers honoured at the NTAs to continue working hard in building the nation.

“I urge all the school leaders to continue working hard through encouraging, recruiting, training, and retaining new teachers by acting as good examples to the new generation,” said Radebe.

“At the same time, how we recognise, honour, and show respect for our experienced educators will reaffirm teaching as a profession of nation-builders and social leaders dedicated to our highest ideals.”

Among the winners, was Ms Mokhudu Machaba from Nganamago Primary School in Limpopo, who won the Excellence in Primary Teaching.

Speaking to Inside Education at the event, the Primary school teacher said she felt overwhelmed with joy and dedicated her award to her learners and her community back home.

I love working with children and as a girl child, it was not easy for me going to school so I really do my best for the learners out there because I know what it feels like not to get an education,” said Machaba.

“This award goes back to my learners and my community.”

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