Sibusiso Qwesha, aka. ‘Ta Sbu’, refuses to refer to himself as a ‘teacher’. This ‘tutor’ places great value on building meaningful relationships with his learners. They will surely miss him.
How long have you been working with Axium?
I’ve been with Axium since 2015, so it’s 2 years now.
What made you decide to come and work for Axium?
A friend of mine, who I studied with at varsity, told me about this wonderful opportunity with Axium. I always wanted to work in the Eastern Cape, specifically in a rural area. It all started at varsity when I tutored chemistry and I noticed that some students experienced difficulties with understanding content. Growing up in the villages myself, I could relate to some of the challenges they faced at university.
What has your role at Axium been?
I taught Physical Science mainly to the Grade 10’s and Grade 11’s.
What has been the most challenging part of your work at Axium?
English is the first additional language of the learners we work with and there are limited resources, like textbooks, so it challenging for them to understand Scientific concepts. Axium facilitates ‘Teacher Networks’ during which teachers from different schools meet up to discuss content. It has been a challenge to get them in one room for these meetings due to their busy schedules.
Looking back at who Sibusiso was before his time with Axium, how have you changed the most as a person?
When I first came to Axium I had no teaching experience. I worked with Craig, my Boss and Mentor, who has been in teaching for years. I learnt a lot from him. Now I can safely say that I’m in a learning process to becoming a better teacher one day. I also have great relationships with the teachers and students we work with.
Even though you have been the teacher and tutor here at Axium, what have your learners taught you?
I learnt a lot from them but I will mention only a few; with all the challenges and difficulties our learners face but they still manage to remain positive, enthusiastic, focused and dedicated. They all came from different schools but they could easily work together. Everyone learns differently, so it is important for me to approach a lesson from different perspectives, to be able to transfer knowledge in ways that can be received properly. This doesn’t only make me a better teacher but help students to learn more effectively.
In terms of the way that Axium operates, what would you change or improve for 2017?
I wouldn’t say I’d change anything; rather I would improve on community involvement and strengthen our relationships with the teachers so they can remain motivated.
Having grown up in a rural part of the Eastern Cape yourself, what advice would you give other young NGO’s operating in rural areas of South Africa?
Know the community in which your NGO operates. Learn about their culture and create more opportunities, specifically for the youth, so they can stay away from crime.
What have you found the most rewarding or enjoyable part of your job at Axium?
Working with people, including Axium staff, who are from different backgrounds. Getting to know the teachers and learners I worked with was most enjoyable part of my job.
Would you encourage other people to come and teach with Axium? Why?
Of course! Axium is doing a great job in equipping learners with knowledge and assisting them in getting into university. I must say that one should be passionate about teaching.
What does 2017 have in store for ‘Teacher’ Sibusiso Qwesha?
I will be completing my Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) while teaching Physical Science through a learnership at Pinelands High School in Cape Town.