Phuti Ragophala has won a Stars in Education award, an annual accolade for the unsung heroes of South African education awarded by publisher and multi-media communications firm Argo.
Stars in Education is an annual competition which recognises the achievements of teachers who have created a ‘bright spot’ story in the often dark landscape of education in South Africa.
Ragophala, from Pula Madibogo Primary School, in Limpopo, was earlier this year identified by ISPA as the teacher who best used her newly-acquired computer skills for the benefit of her community after participating in ISPA’s ‘Train the Teacher’ initiative.
Ragophala won the Stars in Education award for turning a former dumping site into a centre for orphaned and vulnerable children that features food gardens, a poultry farm, a herbal garden and other facilities. She also organised computer training for 25 community members to learn to draw up budgets.
“I am honoured to receive this award so soon after the recognition from ISPA,” Ragophala. “It is thanks to the support from the community that I have been able to achieve so much this year. It is wonderful to see so much support for the work we are doing at Pula Madibogo Primary School from the rest of country.”
Fiona Wallace Chairperson of ISPA’s Teacher Training working group, said: “We are thrilled that Mrs Ragophala has received more recognition for the excellent work she is doing for her community. It is through the efforts of dedicated professionals like her that we will be able to address the daunting social and economic challenges we face in South Africa.”
ISPA recognises the growing need for computer skills training, and the importance of computer-literate teachers. The Train the Teacher initiative was established in December 2001. To date, ISPA has successfully trained 2238 educators at more than 250 under-resourced and rural schools nationwide.