Learning across cultures

I am a grade one educator. In 2003 my school nominated me for the National Teaching Awards and I won the category of Excellence in Early Childhood Development (ECD) at provincial level.

The following year the national department of education nominated me to take part in the Youth Invitation Programme held in Japan for a month – from September to October 2004. The news was too good to be true. It was not until I boarded a Japan-bound plane that I realised I was not in dreamland.

When I arrived in Japan I met teachers from other parts of the world, but was particularly glad to interact with those from my own continent.

They came from countries such as Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania. It was an enriching experience for me and I learned a lot from engaging with them.

In Japan we studied the country’s education system by visiting kindergartens, primary and secondary schools and colleges and universities. We observed their teaching methods, techniques and approaches, classroom organisation and management.


Our visit was not only confined to educational institutions. Each one of us stayed with a Japanese family for one week to observe and understand their lifestyles and their language. It was a wonderful experience to represent my country abroad and to participate in such an insightful programme.

I owe this to the department of education for acknowledging and recognising committed and dedicated teachers through the inspiring initiative of the National Teaching Awards. I applaud them for sending me on such a worthwhile journey.

It made me realise that hard work and commitment pay. Since the trip I have felt energised and motivated to work even harder.

To all educators out there, let us continue to commit ourselves to the service of our learners and communities.

Together we can make a difference. I would also like to thank God for all the achievements because it is by His grace and mercy that I was able to be among those who made the trip. Arigato (Thank you very much in Japanese).

Matlale Reshoketsoe Leshilo is a grade one teacher at Bogalatladi Primary School in Atok, Limpopo

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

The high road is in harm reduction

While the restriction of movement curtailed the health services for people who use drugs in some parts of the world, it propelled other countries into finding innovative ways to continue services, a new report reveals

Khaya Sithole: Tsakani Maluleke’s example – and challenge

Shattering the glass ceiling is not enough, the new auditor general must make ‘live’ audits the norm here in SA

State’s wage freeze sparks apoplexy

Public sector unions have cried foul over the government’s plan to freeze wages for three years and have vowed to fight back.

‘Veteran’s stripes’ vs ‘kind and fair’

This weekend the Democratic Alliance will choose between two starkly different visions for its future
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday