Future mathematicians, technicians, technologists and engineers are being nurtured in public and private sector partnerships.
One such initiative is the Aggrey Klaaste Mathematics, Science and Technology Educator of the Year Award, which is a teacher-development project of the Telkom Foundation, Sowetan's Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation and the national and provincial education departments.
Above all, the award supports the philosophy of nation building by encouraging quality teaching in maths, science and technology.
The reigning champions are Mamosadi Monareng of North West and Thamsanqa Makhathini and Colin van Tooren, both from KwaZulu-Natal.
South Africa's three top teachers in the general, further education and training, and retired, categories will be announced in Johannesburg on March 27.
The award, founded in 1999, recognises and rewards practising and retired teachers who are industrious, innovative, inventive, inspirational and motivational.
Finalists, chosen through a provincial awards system, are expected to:
l Demonstrate a love for maths, science or technology; l Show a willingness to explore new ideas to improve teaching in these subjects;
l Encourage pupils to become independent, analytical and critical thinkers;
l Instil in pupils a love for these subjects;
l Boast an admirable track record of producing good results;
l Lead by example and have a reputation as respected members of their communities;
l Work within the communities, striving to enhance the public understanding and appreciation of maths, science, engineering and technology;
l Encourage pupils to discover and explore maths, science or technology projects;
l Participate in professional associations.
Provincial awards functions are to be held this month and next month.
Provincial winners receive R5000, a certificate of recognition and qualify for the national finals. Provincial winners in the further education and general education and training categories win personal computers, computers and science kits for their schools. National winners win lab equipment and computers for their school.