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Friends and colleagues,

Our next topic is, by popular demand, teacher motivation. Given the magnitude of the subject, we are breaking the topic down across four workshops between now and the end of the year. To start the series:

Topic: What are the underlying factors affecting teacher motivation?

Date: Thursday, 12 September, 17h30-20h00

Venue: Nova Pioneer, Paulshof

Our goal for this session is to explore the factors affecting teacher motivation in the South African context. Our panellists will provide us with their own diverse perspectives and experiences around the topic, both as teachers and school leaders. 


Waahida Tolbert-Mbatha, Co-Founder and Head of School: Kgololo Academy 

Waahida is the co-founder and head of school at Kgololo Academy. Prior to establishing Kgololo Academy, Waahida worked for seven years as a middle school humanities teacher and as an after-school program coordinator. Waahida holds a Master’s of Science in Education Policy and Community Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Berea College in Education. Waahida also completed the Global School Leadership Fellowship with KIPP. 

Nelisiwe Mhlongo, Assistant Principal: Kgololo Academy

Nelly is the assistant principal at Kgololo Academy and is a founding team member. Nelly holds a Diploma in Education and completed the Instructional Leadership Institute in 2018. Nelly enjoys reading, listening to worship music, going out and spending time with her family.


Melanie Smuts, Founder and Board Chair: Streetlight Schools

Melanie trained as a human rights lawyer and is passionate about new approaches to South African education. Whilst at university, she devoted her free time to being involved in, directing, and founding a number of education non-profits. In 2011 she moved to Uttar Pradesh, India to work as a curriculum developer, teacher, and teacher trainer. Inspired by her experiences, she founded Streetlight Schools in 2013, starting in a small store-room with nothing but a few of her own childhood books


Melanie holds a BA and an LLB from the University of Cape Town and completed her LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) at the University of Pretoria.

For notes from our previous session, please click here.

As always, pizza, snacks and beverages will be provided. If you have any questions, please contact Rudi at [email protected] or +27 65 215 2597

We look forward to continuing our collaborations!

Yours in Education,

When and where?

Nova Pioneer, Paulshof
Stone Haven Road 9
South Africa

Thu 12 Sep 2019 at 5:30 PM (SAST)
Thu 12 Sep 2019 at 8:00 PM (SAST)

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Organiser details

Rudi Janse van Vuuren