Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, says the recognition of teachers restores their dignity as professionals.

This emerged at the second annual teachers awards held at the East London International Convention Centre in the Eastern Cape.

South African Democratic Teachers Union organised the awards which saw 300 educators from 70 districts of the province being awarded for their good work.

Nomveliso Thuthani is one of the award winning teachers. “These days we are working under very challenging situations. There are so many challenges that we are faced with but what has worked for me is to dedicate myself. I make sure that I go to class well prepared and I treat my kids with dignity and respect and then I get that in return.”

Motshekga says the department is working with stakeholders to keep the morale of teachers high.

“I think it is a beautiful initiative which takes the professional management of the profession back to the professionals and I think it is very good if the union does that as a professional union that organises teachers so that it does not only deal with professional matters such as acknowledgement, performance. So, I think it really gets to the heart of what a professional union should do. So, I think it is a good initiative.”