Lindiwe Rural KZN Teacher

Rural KZN Teacher Awarded National Teaching Award

lindiwe_gumedeJohannesburg, 31 May 2016: Lindiwe Gumede, an Embury Institute for Teacher Education (Embury) alumni and current teacher at Vondlo Primary School in the remote Enseleni region of KwaZulu-Natal, never thought that she would become the recipient of the Department of Basic Education’s National Teaching Award. But she did. This accolade is especially a victory for teachers who are teaching in rural regions of South Africa as it recognises the talent that often goes unnoticed.

Lindiwe was recently presented with the prestigious award in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) category. Embury’s CEO, Johan Human explains that ECD is a critical phase in a learner’s life. “Research has shown that children who experience a formal ECD education perform better at school and tend to have better employment opportunities later in life,” he comments. “Training and preparing high-performance teachers to work in South African schools is a primary aim for Embury, and having one of our alumni receive such a wonderful award certainly makes us proud,” Human further adds.

Recognising the pronounced potential and dedication in Lindiwe as a foundation phase teacher, the teacher of Vondlo Primary decided to nominate her for the award. The competition process consisted of competing in a number of phases, from a regional level, to provincial, to national. Having flourished through the various phases, she ended up being one of nine contestants competing for various awards. In the end, Lindiwe rose above all, securing a win in the ECD category.

While on a DoE bursary, Lindiwe graduated cum laude from Embury in Durban in 2014 with a Bachelor of Education Foundation Phase. Although, growing up, she didn’t always want to be a teacher. “Many of my family members are teachers, and they often encouraged me to follow in their footsteps,” Lindiwe mentioned. During her school years, her teachers often asked her to help her fellow classmates with certain aspects of the lesson. It was then that she started to develop teaching skills without even knowing.

lindiwe_gumede_schoolWhen asked about her love of teaching, Lindiwe replied: “It’s something that just comes naturally. It has its challenges, but it’s still fun. I learn something new every day – you generally do when you teach children who come from varying backgrounds.” Vondlo Primary schools approximately 1 500 learners, most of whom reside in the Enseleni township.

Essentially, being presented with the Department of Basic Education National Teaching Award has been ammunition for Lindiwe (and teachers alike) in defeating perceptions that the standard of education in rural or township areas is not as high as the urban areas.

About Embury

The Embury Institute for Teacher Education (Pty) Ltd., established in 1995, is a registered and accredited private higher education institute, currently with a campus in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, and plans in progress to expand nationally. Embury prepares high-performance teachers to work in South African schools and is rapidly becoming the institute of choice for people entering the educational sector. With an average pass rate of more than 80%, Embury prides itself on offering excellent teacher education through the integration of innovative pedagogy with practical experience.

Embury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Curro Holdings Limited. For more information, visit

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