A South African educator has been named the teacher of the year by the Global Education Awards, which were held in Dubai over the weekend.
The teacher, Khangelani Sibiya, beat contenders from 79 countries to win the prestigious award.
Sibiya is a maths and science teacher from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The Global Education awards are given to educators who use innovation and creativity in the teaching and learning methods.
Sibiya fits the bill. He uses traditional music and indigenous languages to help teach his students maths and science.
The languages he uses to teach are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
In general, only English and Afrikaans are universal in schools in South Africa — while indigenous languages are often only taught as subjects, instead of being the medium of instruction.
Mr. Khangelani Sibiya won the Best Teacher Award at the Global Education Awards held in Dubai. He is a teacher at Siphumelele Secondary School in King Cetshwayo District in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. pic.twitter.com/YZEEY6Bc2H— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) December 16, 2019
Meanwhile, a study by the University of South Africa states that using a child’s mother tongue is one of the most effective ways of teaching them to perform well cognitively.
Sibiya’s day job is at Siphumelele Secondary School in King Cetshwayo district. On weekends, he also offers lessons and other academic support to several schools in the area through his non governmental organisation, KWV Tutoring.
We need more Maths & Science educators like Khangelani Sibiya who has been named Best Global Teacher of the Year at the Global Education Awards ceremony in Dubai. 👏👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/SiHlurTpYl— Vuyo Yekani (@VuyoYekani) December 18, 2019
Sibiya founded KWV Tutoring in 2008 as a way to reach as many pupils as possible with his vibrant approach to teaching maths and science — and he says he has already reached more than 25,000 learners.
[#WATCH] Meet Khangelani Sibiya from Newcastle in KZN. He’s a Maths and Science who was awarded the ‘Best Global Teacher’ title at the weekend in Dubai. He incorporates traditional music and art during teaching and learning. VIDEO SUPPLIED. @NkoRaphaelpic.twitter.com/qiLDj3MOvr— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) December 16, 2019
“Mr. Khangelani Sibiya is changing the face of mathematics and science from subjects most hated, avoided, and failed, into subjects that are loved, passed, and mastered by pupils,” said the department of education in KZN in a press statement.
The statement also praised his use of social trends like dance, sports, and popular songs in his teaching.
“It promotes global education that brings about change through creativity, participation, and innovation,” the department added.