Winner: John Sambo, Mpumalanga
1st runner-up: Richard Okhaa, Northern Cape
2nd runner-up: Olga Peel from the Western Cape
The Kader Asmal Award is one of the most recent categories. The late Professor Asmal conceptualised and pioneered the awards in 2000.
A team of education specialists from the department of education met in 2016 to review and introduce innovations to the National Teaching Awards. The award was the outcome of the review process and was introduced to “recognise educators who demonstrate the key values that were a hallmark of his leadership: a dedicated educational activist who led by example”.
Asmal qualified as a teacher in 1954 in his hometown of Durban and later went to the UK to study law at the London School of Economics. He graduated as a lawyer in 1963 and lectured law in Ireland for 27 years.
He returned to South Africa in 1990; nine years later he was appointed as the second minister of education in the democratic South Africa, after the June 1999 elections. During his tenure he worked diligently to benchmark the education system at international level.
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga said her department introduced the award to acknowledge the role Asmal played in the reconfiguration of the country’s education system. “We felt this was the appropriate way to say thank you,” said Motshekga.