Poppy Shabangu an AET (Adult Education and Training) teacher at Daveyton and Cynthia More from Vukucinge primary school at Slovo East rand are teachers and part of their job is giving learners hope and motivation that things will change in their lives and life will change for the better. They work tirelessly to give knowledge and skills to their learners with great amount of energy that they put in every single day. They help disadvantaged learners with different problems they have at home. Problems such as domestic issues, lack of resources to go through the day like food and school uniforms. They even sometimes pay school fees for these disadvantaged kids. These are amongst the million things they do for the learners “we decided to help these learners because we saw a gap and that they don’t focus at school because of the problems at home We thought was imperative that we do something about their situations and assist them in putting lot of effort towards their studies, because education is the key to success, no matter what may happen in their lives but they should never forget that” said Shabangu. She says there are many learners who are struggling with a whole lot back home and teachers must play a role in offering personal help to these learners and give them assistance in lifting the burden they carry. Education becomes the center of their focus, because they are then given the direction they need to stay motivated instead of focusing on the problem.
“I feel fulfilled every day when I have helped them because then they are able to focus and shift their minds from thinking about the situations back home” said More. “The relationship between learners and educators is defined by such borders; that the teachers may not know the learner on a personal level but it is important for them to create a personal relationship with the learner so that they can engage them into thinking about solutions rather than the problem. This makes the learners trust and respect the teachers because they know they should never bite the hand that feeds them” says More More believes that showing love and respect mean a lot from a learner and area at times overwhelmed by this gesture. “I teach mostly young people and adults, their respect for me is everything to me and receiving it because I have helped them, makes me want to do more for them” said Mrs. Shabangu. The education department strives to improve the learning environments to a work and learning environment that promotes healthy values that will inspire learning to teach and train the young minds into the leaders of the future that will lead this country to the right direction one day. Building strong relations between the learners and the teachers is also part of what government is trying to achieve in the schools.
“The lessons they learn from what Mrs. Shabangu and I are doing is that, firstly they must learn to share and move towards their goals and help one another the same way we have helped them despite not knowing them that well” said Mrs. More. The greatest wish for More and Shabangu is to, one day, form an organization that will deal with helping learners that are disadvantaged. This organization would have to consist of teachers who are in everyday contact with the learners, so that the identification process would be quick and the necessary intervention happen as soon as possible.