Teachers flying high

About 150 teachers representing 28 different schools attended a two-day “Onniesymposium” at Glenburn Lodge in Muldersdrift on the 2nd of August.

“We did this to give back to those in the education system,” said Marilet Vosloo, a Fairland Primary School teacher.

Onniesymposium is the brainchild of a group of Fairland Primary School educators who attend Rian Truter’s education summit in Stellenbosch each year. “One is so inspired after the summit,” Vosloo said. As the educators were sitting in the airport about to go home, they wondered: ‘Why can’t we bring the summit back to Gauteng?’

And so the first annual Onniesymposium was born.

“Fly high, spread your wings” was this year’s symposium theme, said Vosloo. Each teacher received a gift bag containing a red Superman cape.  

The symposium hosted seven keynote speakers, one of whom is the only Down’s Syndrome woman with a teaching degree in South Africa. Others included a communication specialist and university professor. The first speaker got the guests to put on their capes and dance on their chairs.

Teachers won prizes of spa packets, manicures and monetary gifts. Etienne Venter, the principal at Unika Primary School, won a spa packet at the event. “The symposium was a great way to see how others view life in education,” said Venter.  

“It’s a difficult career to be in sometimes,” said Vosloo, “but you chose this career; you were called on to be a teacher.” The symposium gives educators courage and energy, so that they can make a difference when they step into class again on Monday, she said, and “Be the best teacher for South Africa’s children.”

The main sponsor of the symposium was Fundi, which is “a one-stop-shop for all things educational,” said Sue-Anne Groenewald, the company’s business development manager. Fundi aspires to create a ‘cashless campus method’ where children don’t need to bring cash to school. “The children pay via a Fundi wristband, card or app,” said Groenewald.

“Fundi believes in all things educational,” she said. “It’s important to support our teachers, principals and deputy heads.”

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