The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education recently awarded Nonhlanhla Emmerentia Sibozana with a Certificate of Excellence. Nonhlanhla achieved the second position in the category for excellence in Grade R Teaching in 2023.
Nonhlanhla ‘s teaching career started in 2018 when she enrolled for the Diploma in Grade R Teaching at SANTS Private Higher Education Institution. She completed this qualification in 2020. She secured a job at Spearman Road Primary School in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, after impressing the school during her practice teaching session in 2020: “The school was an English medium school, and they needed someone who had English as their home language, but because the principal had seen my level of determination, teaching ability, knowledge and hard work during practicals, he even sent a motivation to the Department of Education and I was appointed.”
She entered the annual competition on the recommendation of her school principal: “The principal recommended that I enter the competition because of the potential I had. I was very sceptical about entering the competition.” Despite her initial response, she entered the Kwazulu-Natal Teachers Awards, competing against seasoned educators with years of experience.
Recounting the competitive phases, Nonhlanhla shares, “I competed on the district level (Umlazi district); we were six. Then we proceeded to the cluster level, encompassing four districts. On that day, I presented at 16:00, amid a sizable group of competitors. From there, we advanced to the provincial level, a culmination of all districts in KZN. This marked the final presentation.”
The preparation for the Kwazulu-Natal Teachers Awards demanded more than late-night sessions. “I would go to bed at 03:00 in the morning in preparation for the final presentation. The rigorous competition required a comprehensive approach, addressing creatively engaging learners, learner-centred teaching techniques, and challenges like the impact of COVID-19 and integrating 4IR in the classroom.”
The defining moment was on January 19, 2024, at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre Complex (ICC) in Durban when Nonhlanhla received recognition for her outstanding contributions to education. “It was a profound experience. Competing with educators with more than ten years’ experience, made me even more proud to be a SANTS product.”
SANTS Private Higher Education Institution extends heartfelt congratulations to Nonhlanhla, a true exemplar of dedication and passion. Nonhlanhla furthered her studies by completing the Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase Teaching at SANTS recently. Even after completing her qualifications with SANTS, she continues to embody the vision of taking quality education to the people, embracing the spirit of a lifelong learner. Here’s to a shining educator who goes beyond boundaries to illuminate minds! #SANTSProud #EducatorExcellence #LifelongLearner #QualityEducationForAll #NonhlanhlaNAWinner #TeachingTruimphs