Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Lorraine Mabitsela of Witpoortjie on the West Rand has been recognised as the best primary school teacher in the country.
Mabitsela teaches natural science, technology and arts and culture to Grades 5,6 and 7 at the Braam Fischer Primary School in Soweto.
By winning the award for Excellence in Primary School Teaching, Mabitsela received a laptop, a television set and a video camera, as well as R15000 for her school.
The prize was presented to her last week by Education Minister Naledi Pandor at the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.
The National Teaching Awards are aimed at recognising and promoting excellence in teaching performance and this was the eighth edition of the event.
Mabitsela was nominated at district level and went on to win the provincial and ultimately the national award where all nine provinces were represented.
The 34-year-old mother of an eight-year-old boy has been teaching for nine years.
"I am passionate about my job and I want my pupils to focus more on what they can do than on their poor backgrounds," Mabitsela said.
To back her philosophy she wrote a poem titled My background and not my destiny.
Despite a lack of resources at her school, Mabitsela was able to help her pupils create a motorised car using old radio parts.
Mabitsela also started a gardening project which helps to feed Aids orphans at the school.
"My aim is to groom global pupils who can compete anywhere in the world," she said.
"The award is a big achievement and says somebody is recognising my good work," she said proudly.
Department head at Braam Fischer Primary, Zandile Flatela, said Mabitsela was a dedicated and reliable person who was always willing to learn.