SADTU STATEMENT ON ITS MEMBER HONOURED BY MICROSOFT
04 December 2013
SADTU member is a Microsoft expert educator
SADTU is proud to announce that one of its members who is a principal of a primary school in Limpopo, has been chosen as a global leader in using technology to transform education.
Phuti Ragophala, Principal and EMS teacher for Grade 7 at Pula-Madibogo Primary school in Mankweng, Limpopo applied to be selected together with 29 000 teachers world-wide. She and 249 others were selected Microsoft’s Expert Educators. .
She is one of the two Expert Educators selected from South Africa. Her counterpart is Sheryl Douglas from a High School in the Western Cape.
As an Expert Educator, Ragophala has been invited to attend the Microsoft in Education Global Forum in Barcelona, Spain in March 2014. She will also receive a free Microsoft Surface RT device for her school, insider access to Microsoft strategy and technologies and professional and career development opportunities and certifications including peer coaching.
Ragophala had to undergo a rigorous application process. She had to fill out an online application, create a learning activity and a two-to- three minute video that describes her project and how she used technology and innovative teaching practices to influence learner outcomes.
She was selected for her project “Planting seeds! Changing lives! That talks about sectors of economy (different states on how food is produced); technological tools that were used to enhance teaching and learning and how the lesson impacted learners and community members.
“Being a Microsoft Expert educator will help me to increase learning outcomes for my students, as well as drive technology in education on a global stage. I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected as one of Microsoft Educators. I look forward to making the most of the mentoring and learning opportunities that are now available to me” she said.
The winners were selected by a worldwide group of judges who used a broad set of criteria to assess the educators’ evidence of learning, collaboration, knowledge construction and critical thinking, among other things.
“To be considered for an Expert Educator, educators must demonstrate a commitment to innovation and the ability to overcome obstacles in preparing students to be 21st century learners. Educators are selected based on their innovation, leadership skills and effective use of technology for better learning and student’s outcome,” Anthony Sacito, Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft Corp said.
However, these teachers should not only do innovative work in the classroom; they should be actively mentoring others and creating change in their own education systems. They should set examples for their peers, Sacito explained.
That is exactly what Ragophala does. She always encourages her teachers to take part in IT workshops, to use IT in the classroom and has addressed many platforms encouraging teachers and communities about the importance of IT.
Her selection by Microsoft is another milestone in a series of achievements she had acquired previously. In 2011 she was a recipient of Stars in Education Award, which recognizes teachers who go an extra mile in bringing positive change in learners and surrounding communities. While last year she was honoured by Internet Service Provider Association (ISPA) for being a teacher who best used her newly acquired computer skills for the benefit of her community.
Ragophala’ s win could not have come at a better time for her and the school.
Her computer laboratory is not a laboratory but a classroom with 42 computers of which only 16 are in working order. It is hot as there is no air conditioning. The school has to foot the bill to service the computers and to buy data bundles in order to connect to the internet. It is hard to keep these machines running all the time as the government is not providing finances for the laboratory. The school has to therefore work hard to fundraise
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi 082 709 5157
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi 082 719 5157