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MEC David Maynier on Teacher Appreciation Month


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MEC David Maynier on Teacher Appreciation Month

Teacher with learners in class
Photo by Creamer Media

2nd October 2023


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October is Teacher Appreciation Month, and we want to thank the incredible teachers of the Western Cape for the love and support they give to our children every day.

We all have a teacher who has had a lasting positive influence on our lives, or our children’s lives, and these teachers deserve to be acknowledged. This recognition makes a massive difference to our teachers, and encourages them as they continue to support our children.


That’s why we are launching the #ThankaTeacher campaign, to celebrate our teachers during the month of October. We’ve put together a video to show how a simple gesture of thanks can make a teacher feel really special.

Watch the video here:


In August 2023, we asked the public to submit a message of thanks to a teacher that made an impact on their life. We chose a selection of submissions, contacted the writers, and filmed them reading their message to their past or present teacher.

We also arranged for the relevant teachers to be present at a school at a certain time where we would surprise them with the video message. The unsuspecting teachers were then brought in and shown the video.

The reaction of the teachers to the message was priceless! They were completely shocked and moved by the message of thanks, and humbled by the experience. They all indicated that it was wonderful to feel appreciated.

We had a further surprise for them. We then brought in the writer of the submission to physically come into the room and thank the teacher. The whole experience shows how much our teachers appreciate a simple “thank you”.

This is what some of the teachers we surprised thought of the campaign:

Tokyo Mcunu, a teacher at Thandokhulu High School:

“I am speechless and feel privileged to be recognised and appreciated in this fashion. It is indeed truly special, extraordinary and overwhelming. Massive kudos to my former student, Sinoxolo Maki and WCED for being part of such a phenomenal initiative of validating teachers, valuing them and letting them know that they matter. This perfect, perfect, perfect act will forever leave an indelible mark on my heart and will certainly make me grow to be a seasoned teacher. Truly blessed and feel like a superstar! I am beyond grateful and inspired to be more dedicated and make a difference to all those young minds.”

Kevin van Blommestein, retired teacher, who last taught at Windermere High School:

“I feel honoured and humbled by the Teacher Appreciation initiative by WCED, which highlights the transformational role that teachers can play in the lives of their learners.  I believe that teachers can impact positively to support learners to discover their true potential.  Our youth will inherit the future and it is our duty to equip them with the skills to solve problems by applying Science and Technology knowledge.  As teachers we can make a difference one learner at a time.  Be the difference.”

Mrs Rajes Francis, special needs teacher at Vista Nova School:

“There is no greater reward than being acknowledged and thanked by a parent for the role I play in her child’s life.  After 42 years in the teaching profession it is a privilege to exit my teaching career in such a manner. I hope that this gesture of #ThankaTeacher by the Education Department will continue as there are many deserving teachers out there who need acknowledgment.” 

Now it’s your turn!

Let your special teacher know how much you value the work they have done, by posting your words of appreciation on social media using the hashtag #ThankaTeacher.

You can do this by:

Writing and posting a message about your teacher

Posting a video message to or about your teacher

Drawing and posting a picture of you and your teacher – why not surprise them!

Posting a photo of your teacher – and include their name and grade.

Posting anything to show you appreciate teachers!

Tag these with #ThankaTeacher – so that teachers can view them and see how much we collectively value them.

#ThankaTeacher today!


Issued by Western Cape Education


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