Educating can be a life-long lesson

Committed to development

24 August 2021 | Education

Windhoek ∙ [email protected]

Very few professions call for the personal and profession buy-in that teaching takes. The input, empathy and safe nurturing space that teachers, tutors, educational, occupational and many other therapists, coaches and care givers offer up for education cannot be quantified.

And, yes that includes those grumpy woodwork menere who had you sanding down your own paddling board.

The hours of preparation, assessment, assistance, sometimes even accommodating children in their homes, are social sacrifices that cannot be ignored.

This, coupled with the heartbreak of dealing with the products of a struggling society, make the hard-won victories when you see your students honoured for their societal contributions later in life so much worth it.

This makes the calling of an educator one of the most blessed, yet burdened in our communities.

“I don’t see myself doing anything else,” says Mutsa Ella Pazvakavambwa, the NMH Education Project’s principal online programme host teacher.

“I always enjoyed school and especially my extramural activities like going to the sports games and taking part in tennis, hockey, debate and public speaking. I remember having this incredible pride,” she says.

“So, I always saw immense value in learning and loving the school environment. Even from my earliest memories from grade one.

“I actually wanted to become a lawyer, but in order for my family to prepare the funds, I took a gap year and started working as a grade one teacher,” she explains.

Soon she realised that moulding young minds was more rewarding than she had imagined and, being from a family four generations deep in education, her parents were overjoyed to learn that she saw herself taking on this selfless, but incredibly satisfying career path.

“Being an assistant teacher to a new grade one class, I got to witness the process of learning from a teacher’s point of view.

“It made me so happy to be there and be part of that process.

“There was no other place I wanted to be, and there I learnt that if want to have a career, do what you love, it will soon become a way of life and not just a profession,” she says.

Unconditional love

“Your learners don’t see much of you other than what they see in the classroom. So, to have those moments of unconditional love that the children share with you definitely make seeing your students so much more special. Seeing them grow and learn in front of you is indescribable.

“Even before Covid, many of us always asked ourselves, how do we reach everyone in a society with so many social inequalities.

“We say ‘education for all’, but is that really the reality for outside of urban centres?

“We want to build a nation of excellence, so when this project came about I was excited that we can now put children on an equal platform and give those who previously had less access to printed and audio-visual material an equal opportunity to learn,” she says.

Having invested hundreds of hours compiling lessons, she and her colleagues still find their new method of working gratifying, knowing that they are doing their part to support all the hardworking educators who have committed themselves to building the future of the country and region.

“I really commend all the educators out there, who despite the previous and current struggles, go the extra mile and got creative in order to continue to provide that natural love and safe space of what the classroom offered, during lockdown and the break in in-person learning.”

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