year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 157



CELEBRATING
A STANDOUT
TEACHER
“He forced hope into our hopeless hearts,” wrote student Nonkululeko
Biyase when nominating her Menzi High School mathematics teacher
Sfiso Kubeka for the 2018 Stella Clark Teachers’ Award.
maths teacher, she recounted: he
was a life coach.
Not only did Kubeka provide
extra lessons before and after the
school day, he spent his weekends
teaching as well. These extra sessions
were open to all learners in the
surrounding township of Umlazi,
in KwaZulu-Natal.
He believed that this had a double
benefit: helping the students to
improve in their studies, as well as
keeping them away from crime and
drug abuse.
“When this opportunity [to
nominate Kubeka] presented itself …
I had to take it, because I know where
I come from and I know how much
my teachers have done so that I can
be here,” said Biyase.
“It was through their motivation.
It was through their encouragement
that I was able to come to UCT.”
The awards form a living memorial
to the late Stella Clark, who was
a language development lecturer
in the Centre for Higher Education
Development (CHED). They seek
to shine a light on the exceptional
teachers who are making a difference
in the lives of disadvantaged
students.
“So often we see that teachers
have very low expectations of their
learners, and you’ve had the highest
expectations of your learners,”
said Associate Professor Rochelle
Kapp, addressing Kubeka. “It’s truly
inspiring, and humbling, to have
you here.”
Biyase, who was completing her
Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting,
recalled the high expectations,
constant encouragement and
affirmations that Kubeka passed on
to his learners. He was more than a
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