The department of education lifetime achievement award winner, Kedibone Radebe, has advised teachers to be patient, and always treat their learners and their parents with respect, in order to thrive in the field.
Last Friday, the department held hosted the Free State annual teachers’ awards. At the event, Radebe, a teacher who has been in the profession for more than 30 years, was the recipient of the 2012 lifetime achiever award.
As the winner, Radebe received a nomination certificate, a trophy, a full time bursary and R8 000 cash prize, a laptop, printer, speakers, one -gig top up bundle for two years, external hard drive, travelling bag, notebook holder, dictionary, LED TV and a weekend trip to Cape Town for two people.
Radebe, who is the founder and currently the deputy principal of Iketsetseng Comprehensive School, shared her experiences as a teacher. She also advised young, up and coming teachers on what she called “the long journey that’s no child’s play”.
According to Radebe, her passion for teaching started while she was young. When she finished her matric in 1976, she did not wander around trying to figure out what to do with her life because she knew exactly which career she would be pursuing.
She started her own “long journey” when she enrolled for a Junior and Senior Teaching Course (JSTC) at QwaQwa’s Tshiya Training College and trained to become a teacher.
After her training, she started teaching at Nkgopotseng High School in Sasolburg back in 1979; where she taught business studies. She was later promoted and became the head of the commercial department eight years later.
When she was satisfied that she had made a difference in the lives of learners and fellow teachers, she decided it was time she did something that she would genuinely be proud of and subsequently decided to establish Iketsetseng Comprehensive School at Zamdela in 1990.
“When the department said it would be holding the awards again this year, I decided to enter the competition as I believed I was worthy of the lifetime achievement recognition. After all, I have served the profession selflessly for 33 years,” said Radebe.
Radebe said, throughout her journey, she had always provided support to learners and teachers in the various sporting activities and competitions. She said she was humbled that she was regarded as a role model and a reference point for other teachers.
She said one of her strengths is to mentor young teachers, through workshops in particular, by giving them essential information about matric examinations rules and regulations.
She helps underperforming learners improve their marks by giving them extra classes and also assists grade 12 pupils who need financial assistance.
“I feel honoured that the department has rewarded me for my work and I will make sure that, going forward, I don’t disappoint them,” said Radebe.
The MEC for education in the Free State, Tate Makgoe, praised Radebe and said the lifetime achievement award had been bestowed on an educator with at least 30 years uninterrupted service. The candidate must have, over three decades, demonstrated endurance, commitment and perseverance for the benefit of a particular school and the education sector in general.