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TRAC celebrates teacher excellence amid 2024 school opening

by Tia

Amidst the excitement of the upcoming academic school year in South Africa, noteworthy achievements in education are already shining through.

Trans African Concessions (TRAC) is thrilled to announce that Dr Andrew Mhlongo, a teacher from one of its flagship schools in Mpumalanga, has won the prestigious Penreach 2023 Teacher of the Year Award in recognition for his excellent role and leadership in education. Dr Mhlongo is a departmental head and a Grade 3 teacher at Thanda Primary School, which has enjoyed significant financial support from TRAC since 2017.

Located in Nkomazi in Mpumalanga, Thanda Primary School is TRAC’s flagship school which was transformed from an under-resourced rural school into a R6 million educational facility conducive for learning for its approximately 800 learners attending Grades R to 9. In addition to improving the school’s infrastructure and equipping it with the necessary learning resources, TRAC partnered with a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Penreach, which is responsible for developing and implementing innovative learning programmes to achieve educational excellence in disadvantaged rural communities in Mpumalanga.

Ms Adri Fourie, TRAC’s Executive Manager for Human Resources and Corporate Social Investment, said her company was very proud of Dr Mhlongo’s achievements and his recent Penreach award. She said: “As TRAC we welcome Dr Mhlongo’s achievement with pride. His accomplishment is a major milestone and a well-deserved recognition of his exceptional dedication, passion, and impact on the educational community in Mpumalanga.”

Dr. Mhlongo’s recognition comes at a crucial time as South Africa gears up for the start of the 2024 academic year, showcasing the positive impact of initiatives aimed at enhancing education.

Ms Fourie said the above achievement shows that TRAC’s investment in education is a powerful tool to improve the quality of education and learning amongst learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. “TRAC is proud to be associated with an NGO like Penreach, which has proved itself to be a centre of excellence for enhancing and improving the quality of learning and education at previously disadvantaged communities. Its learning solutions have been proven to achieve remarkable results for both learners and teachers. By implementing innovative and cutting-edge techniques, Penreach is transforming the way education is being delivered,” she said.

Teachers enrolled under the various programmes offered by Penreach also benefit. They are empowered with tools that enable them to monitor leaners’ progress, identify areas of improvement, and tailor their instruction accordingly to ensure greater learning outcomes.

As South African schools prepare to welcome students for the new academic year, stories like Dr. Mhlongo’s serve as inspiration. Discover more about TRAC’s contributions to education and the transformative journey of Thanda Primary School: https://tracn4.co.za/#/education

Ms Fourie says TRAC will continue to invest in education, to inspire minds and transform the educational landscape into a dynamic and empowering one. “We want to spark a renewed love for learning that will pave the way for academic success.  As TRAC we acknowledge that education serves as a fundamental pillar for the development and growth of communities. It equips individuals with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities they need to succeed in life. By investing in education, we are providing people with the tools to unlock their full potential and pursue their aspirations. Furthermore, education has a ripple effect on the community. Well-educated individuals contribute to the economy, drive innovation, and foster social progress.  Additionally, education plays a vital role in addressing societal challenges and promoting equality by creating a more inclusive society,” she said.

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