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Grand Affirmation For the Man ‘Who Loved To Affirm People’ – Matthew Goniwe Memorial Lecture To Take In National Teacher Awards

Riyaz Patel

Anti-apartheid activist Matthew Goniwe, who was also a teacher, principal, community leader and one of the so-called ‘Cradock Four’ murdered by apartheid security forces, is to be honoured at a gala evening at the Rhema Bible Church later this month.

The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) will host the annual Matthew Goniwe Memorial Lecture in tandem with the National Teacher Awards (NTA) to commemorate, honour, and deepen the legacy of this legendary activist educator who hailed from the Eastern Cape.

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Described as a leader and a teacher loved by learners, parents and his community, Goniwe epitomised the noble ideals, civic values and strength of character which broadly characterize the qualities sought in determining South Africa’s stand out teaching professionals.

The aptly named theme, ‘The Living Legacy of Matthew Goniwe: The future of Education in the 4IR era,’ underlines the fourth industrial revolution as the next frontier that will require much more interdisciplinary teaching, research and innovation, much in line with Goniwe’s visionary approach – albeit in a different era – to promote excellence in teaching performance and outcomes.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the NTA, the DBE has expanded the initiative by including in its deliberations the judging criteria considered by African Union (AU) and the Global Teacher Prize (GTP).

The move affords South African educators’ efforts to be recognized in a wider context when being considered as candidates in the AU and GTP awards.

The annual Matthew Goniwe Memorial Lecture and National Teacher Awards further coincides with the month in which the world celebrates the unique and vital role of arguably its greatest resources, its teachers.

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The NTA is thus part of the GDE’s efforts to raise the public image of the teaching profession, by recognising and excellence in teaching performance, and in so doing deepening the “living legacy of Matthew Goniwe.”

It further seeks, to honour dedicated creative and effective teachers and schools, while encouraging best practices in institutions of learning.

Matthew Goniwe’s widow, Nyameka, described her late husband as a “man who loved to affirm people,” and as the nation – through his memorial lecture and NTA – readies to honour his laudable legacy, the GDE has provided a platform for South Africa to publicly thank all her those committed educators who are spurred on by the adage: “It is not about what I can get, but about what I can give.”

Much like how Matthew Goniwe lived his life.

The 2019 Matthew Goniwe Memorial Lecture/ National Teaching Awards
Friday, 25 October 2019
Rhema Bible Church

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