The process of identifying the top candidates for the 20th National Teaching Awards has been officially finalised. Excellence across NTA categories, including Primary School Teaching; Mathematics and Natural Sciences; and ICT-Enhanced Technology was evident during this year’s adjudication process. The four-day event organised by the DBE, took place at the OR Tambo Protea Hotel in the Gauteng Province from 24 to 28 November 2019.
Education experts from various areas of specialisation formed part of the adjudication panel assigned to oversee the entire process. Reflecting on their observations, DBE adjudicators, Mr Philip Dikgomo, Mrs Keitumetse Modiba and Ms Boitumelo Butjie, acknowledged the sterling work done by various provinces in promoting the teaching profession in South Africa. Speaking during the adjudication processes, Mr Philip Dikgomo said: “The promotion of excellence in Mathematics and Natural Science is a step in the right direction. Mathematics is the heart of the Sciences and therefore crucial to the economy. Through the NTAs, the DBE intends to reward and celebrate excellence in both Mathematics and Natural Science as these two NTA categories will inspire many teachers to strive for quality teaching in the subjects”.
Ms Butjie explained that, “The ICT candidates generally performed well. The ICT category affords teachers an opportunity to benchmark best practice in e-Education. It is also worth mentioning that these candidates use ICT to enhance skills and lobby learners to consider careers in the digital space. The skills showcased at this level of the competition are inspiring; we need to, as the Basic Education Sector, promote the effective use of ICT in schools”. Mrs Modiba described the NTA adjudication as a tedious process since adjudicators are expected to sit throughout the duration of the categories they were allocated to ensure that they pay full attention to the detailed presentations of each candidate. Director for Continuing Professional Teacher Development, Ms Veronica Hofmeester, indicated that although well-planned, the DBE must investigate alternative ways to expedite the scoring process as part of the adjudication. A digital scoring process could be considered to ensure that the DBE is in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, whilst increasing efficiency.
The adjudication process concluded with the Lifetime Achievement category, which intends to honour teachers who spent more than 30 years of service in education.