Modderdam teacher wins excellence award

Adnaan Adams, the head of department for maths and science at Modderdam High School in Bonteheuwel, won the Western Cape Kader Asmal Excellence Award, which forms part of the National Teaching Awards.

Modderdam High School teacher Adnaan Adams is this year’s Western Cape winner of the Kader Asmal Excellence Award.

Principal Rona Rayray-Wanza, who nominated Mr Adams, the school’s maths-and-science head of department (HOD), says he is a forward-thinking, humble, and values-driven servant leader.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga launched the Kader Asmal Excellence Award in 2011, in honour of the late minister’s contribution to education and society. It was Professor Asmal who introduced the National Teaching Awards during his term of office 21 years ago. The award recognises a teacher who is an educational activist for social justice and who leads by example.

Mr Adams, who has been a teacher for 20 years, said he still had a lot to give.

“This is definitely beyond me,” he said. “Winning is good for the whole of the Bonteheuwel community. At least we are being recognised for something good happening at the school. This award is not just for Modderdam but also for Arcadia and Bonteheuwel high schools, who also need to come on board.”

Mr Adams has helped to get the school’s library running again and established a computer lab. He is also the coordinator of the school’s feeding project.

“We struggle in terms of resources. This is why, to me, transformation still needs to happen at our school. I have my foot in activism because I have seen the inequalities which still exist.”

Ms Rayray-Wanza said Mr Adams was innovative and built strong partnerships with NGOs to get pupils involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

“These include the relationship built with Sakhikamva Foundation, headed by Fatima Jakoet, who held workshops with Grade 8s on coding; the unique programme of Go For Gold for our Grade 10 and Grade 11 maths and science learners; and, more recently, Microsoft training with First Digital, including the platform Papervideo, with online tutoring for our mathematics and science learners.

“Mr Adams is also responsible for all our school’s social media, and recently designed and manages our own website.

“Another big project is the revamping of our school library. Through Mr Adams, the school partnered with The Bookery, who donated more than 3 000 books, provided the library management system and trained our library assistant.

“Mr Adams was also instrumental in registering with crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy, to raise funds for revamping our library.

“In his free time, Mr Adams will physically decorate our corridors with geometric shapes and patterns, including painting our library.”

Mr Adams is also the liaison between the school and the Community Food Garden organisation driven by Violence Prevention and Urban Upgrading (VPUU), which supports both the school feeding scheme and the greater Bonteheuwel community.

Ms Rayray-Wanza said Mr Adams served the school and his community with pride and embodied their school’s vision to become a progressive learning centre for innovation and excellence.

“We are very proud of him,” she added.