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IT boffin wins special ministerial award


Mokhudu Machaba of Ngwanamago Primary School in Ga-Maja is heading for greater things after winning a special ministerial award at the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) award ceremony held in Kempton Park recently.
She initially entered for the category on the innovative use of information and communications technology for effective service delivery, but her entry was thought to be way above the requirements for the category and the call of duty thus the special ministerial award.
Besides now being in the run for the coveted Public Sector Innovator of the Year Award she has also automatically qualified for entry into prestigious international programmes such as the All Africa Public Sector Innovation Awards (Aapsia) and the Africa Association for Public Administration Management (Aapam) Awards.
She is now waiting with bated breath on the outcomes of these events, but she is not sure when to expect the outcomes of these competitions.
Minister for Public Service and Administration Ngoako Ramatlhodi with the Executive Director, of the CPSI, Thuli Radebe, hosted the 14th Annual CPSI Public Sector Innovation Awards as the centre is a government component within the Ministry of Public Service and Administration, established to entrench and nurture the culture of innovation in the public sector. The Public Sector Innovation Awards Ceremony is a platform used to recognise and award all the exceptional innovative projects entered for this year’s edition of the awards programme and to promote and encourage best practices in public sector innovation and celebrate the successes of individuals and teams at all spheres of government.
While Machaba is a computer expert and multi-award winner, the school she teaches at, a quintile 2 school, do not have a proper computer laboratory. “We only have old gadgets” she says. She takes her own laptop to teach children at school.
In 2013 she won the Internet Service Provider Association of South Africa (ISPA) ‘s Super Teacher Award and in September this year she also won the ISPA Champion Teacher Award during an award ceremony held at the Wanderers Club. She scooped this award for her project called “Creating Content using Apps.” She has trained about 45 teachers in the area she is living on Teaching with Technology. “I am still recruiting others so I can train them,” she said.
In 2015 she was awarded the National Teaching Award for “Techchnology Enhanced Teaching” and was selected as Microsoft Innovation Expert of 2015. “I have helped 101 community members acquire their valid certificates for computer literacy programmes. I have also created a closed Facebook group called Limpopo ICT Teachers were I communicate, collaborate and share information with my colleagues. It has been a great journey for me in ICT. I have presented in a number of national conferences namely SchoolNetSA 2013 at the University of Free State on ICT Leadership in Schools and also in KwaZulu Natal, the South African Basic Education Conference at the Emperors Palace, Johannesburg on Project Based Teaching, the EdTechTeam Summit in 2014 at Dainfern College and at Jane Furse on Project Based Teaching, the Eschools Network Conference in 2014 in Cape Town on Project Based Teaching and How the 21st Century Child Learns and at the Held the ISPA Super Teacher Award 2013.
Machaba has been into ICT for eight years now. “Up to now I have trained more than 200 people in the community, youths as well as older people. Sometimes at schools where there are computers or at home, where I have spare computers.”
She loves travelling, loves Century City in Cape Town and describes a visit to Seattle in the USA as a “mind-blowing” experience. “We visited the Microsoft Campus and managed to be selected to sit around the table with the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the great room. Our team comprised of South Africa, Germany, the Chzeck Republic, Canada and Vietnam. We scooped the runner-up position out of 48 groups during the E2 Global Conference.”


Featured photo: Mokhudu Machaba during the ISPA award function in September, when she won the Champion Teacher Award (photo supplied)


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