News & Events

Malebe – the hero educator and environmentalist of Ekurhuleni

Mr Bethuel Malebe, an educator at the Nageng Primary School in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni, who holds two degrees, namely a BEd (SFETP 2015) and Hons BEd (2017), from Unisa, has been making remarkable strides in his home town.

He had been nominated for the National Teaching Awards in 2018 and 2019, hosted by the Department of Basic Education, in the category, Excellence in Primary School Teaching. Mr Malebe lists his passion as co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

He has also been named the 2018 Most Valued Teacher in the Ekurhuleni South District for sports, arts and culture. He was named the Cultural Coordinator of the Year in 2017 in the same awards. Earlier this year, he was named Best Public Speaking Coach in the Ekurhuleni South District Public Speaking Awards.

Mr Malebe attributes his passion for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities as the foundation for his success in teaching. He states that he has witnessed learners’ enthusiasm and delight when they attend extra-curricular activities. “I have witnessed this throughout my years as a teacher, which fills my heart with so much appreciation for life.”

“I believe that learners must be given equal and fair opportunities to develop to their full potential and realise their talents. Orating activities such as poetry, public speaking and debating help learners to become even more socially active.”

He said: “Not every learner is academically inclined, but those who are not can make a career out of these activities, as they are able to improve their interactive skills, language proficiency and enhance critical thinking.”

His activism also extends to the environment. In this regard, he was nominated to take part in the National Public Speaking competition, organised by the Gauteng Department of Water and Sanitation, in September 2019. The competitors, from all nine provinces of South Africa, presented their sustainable environment intervention projects, which they had initiated in their schools and community.

The school project he headed, entitled, The environment is our home: the quality of the environment affects all of us, won the best prize, worth R50 000. “I intend to use the prize money to benefit the learners and community,” he said.

The project was implemented during Environment Awareness Week, in July 2018 and, in the presentation, he showed the before and after transformation in the schools in the area and he also shared the impact the project has had on the community. The project involved all the stakeholders in the vicinity of the Ekurhuleni Municipality, who participated by cleaning every corner of Vosloorus. “It educated residents about conserving, preserving and restoring the environment and the dignity of the residents through using water wisely, refraining from land pollution and raised awareness about sanitation as well as hygiene.”

“My achievements,” he said, “are underpinned by the knowledge I acquired through Unisa’s curriculum.” He believes that these years at Unisa changed him and helped him to discover who he is.

“I am well aware of the educational growth path I am supposed to take. I have two degrees with Unisa and I am currently pursuing two other degrees, with two different institutions. This is in the hope that I will continue to create educational opportunities for others as well,” he said.

* By Busisiwe Mahlangu, Communications Coordinator, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2019/10/16