NWU produces SA’s best secondary school teacher
Nikiwe Mgwigwi, an alumna of the North-West University (NWU), is passionate about the development of young minds and recently received a national award for the life-changing impact she makes in the lives of school learners in Gauteng.
The 29 year-old Nikiwe is a proud alumna of the campus in Vanderbijlpark and, according to the Department of Basic Education, the best secondary school teacher in South Africa.
As a teacher at Suncrest High School in Vanderbijlpark, Nikiwe, received top honours in the category: Excellence in Secondary Schooling at the 2017 National Teaching Awards ceremony.
Striving to make a lasting impact
When listening to the learners of Suncrest High School, it becomes clear that Nikiwe has a huge positive impact on their lives.
Another teacher who had a great impact on her learners, is Bill Gate’s primary school teacher, Blanche Caffiere. In a recent interview the co-founder of Microsoft and American business magnate, praised her for the “profound” impact she had on his live. Like Blanche and other dedicated members of the teaching profession, Nikiwe is also motivating and inspiring the next generation.
“I can’t imagine myself not being a teacher,” she says.
According to Nikiwe – who teaches mathematical literacy – her love for teaching and high regard for the profession were kindled by her high school teachers. “I contribute my personal and professional growth to my teachers, and especially one of them who encouraged me to keep pushing forward even though the road was not easy,” remembers Nikiwe who instinctively knew that teaching would also be her calling.
She started her career in 2010 at Suncrest High School while still completing her final year of study. In 2015 she joined the school’s management team and was appointed as the head of department for mathematics and mathematical literacy. She is also the grade tutor for grade 10 and responsible for all matters relating to discipline, parents’ queries and mentoring.
Nikiwe not only motivates learners in her classroom, but also learners from underperforming schools in the community. Through the school’s Secondary School Intervention Programmes she teaches mathematical literacy to learners on weekends and during school holidays.
Accolades and achievements
During her career at Suncrest High School Nikiwe has received several awards and recommendations for her work.
These achievements include achieving a 100% pass rate during the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Examinations, a first position during the Sedibeng Education District Awards and an excellence award from the Gauteng MEC of Education.
In addition, Nikiwe received a Gold Achievement award from the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga.
Looking at Nikiwe’s career, it is very likely that her learners would one day remember her as that special teacher who inspired them just as her own teacher inspired her, and Bill Gates’s teacher did for him. And who knows: perhaps Nikiwe’s classroom will produce the next Bill Gates.
Read more about Nikiwe in the latest edition of the NWU Alumni Magazine by clicking on this link: http://www.nwu.ac.za/content/nwu-alumni-magazine-nwu-u
Nikiwe at the National Teaching Awards.