Meet the leaders who share knowledge at EduWeek

EduWeek Cape Town Speakers


Ms Jaye Richards-Hill

Ms Jaye Richards-Hill Title: Business Development Manager Company: – Microsoft World-Wide Education Team Sector/s: Tech & Basic Education Jaye is the Founder and Managing Director of Tablet Academy Africa, part of the global Tablet Academy organization and supports national and regional governments across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India in transforming education in technology and device deployment programs in schools across the region. Jaye has nearly thirty years of experience in training and teaching, as a science teacher and as a learning community principal teacher involved in disseminating good practice on ICT in the classroom. She has worked at government level on projects, including the recent Operation Phakisa Education lab for the Office of the President in South Africa.

Carleen King

Carleen King Title: Project Consultant for EDI GUINEA PROJECT Company: United Nations Sector/s: Higher Education Carleen King is an International Advisor and Independent Business and Writing Consultant. Ms. King has owned and operated her own consulting business for eighteen years in the areas of strategic business management, independent paralegal services, event planning/management and fundraising.
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Paula Barnard-Ashton

Paula Barnard-Ashton is an occupational therapist who practiced in the field of paediatric learning difficulties and sensory integration before becoming a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand. She attained a Masters degree in 2009 and was awarded a fellowship in the Sub-Saharan African FAIMER Regional Institute 2011-2012. In 2009, Paula was appointed to the role of manager of the School of Therapeutic Sciences eLearning Project, with the objective of driving the integration of blended learning and educational technologies into the undergraduate curricula. She is currently in the final stages of her PhD, researching the integration of blended learning into the occupational therapy curriculum

Claire Mawisa

At only fifteen year old she won the prestigious model competition Cosmopolitan Model of the Year 1994 – she became the youngest and the second black South African beauty to be featured on the cover of the local Cosmopolitan magazine. This tremendous accomplishment catapulted her into the limelight: she travelled many exotic destinations for her work assignments and she has graced many magazine covers. Modelling lead her host various televisions on across several channels. Claire’s also had radio career both on and off the microphone at stations such as YFM, Metro FM, Radio 2000 and Kaya FM. Toward the end of 2014, Claire left Kaya FM to pursue her business interest and focus on her passion of empowering young women. As a qualified Life Skills coach is continuously pursuing her passion of helping women; she hosts various empowerment workshops through her Code Teen initiative ( and the Me Only, Better Workshop aimed at professional women. She and her partner, Karen Burt, facilitate workshops nationally and 2016 year they interacted with over 28 000 young females across different tertiary and corporate environments. In 2015 Claire joined the Carte Blanche team as an investigative journalist. She remains active in the TV, radio and print sectors. Claire has facilitated and hosted events for organisations such as Sasol, Public Investment Corporation, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, Thebe Investments, Kimberly-Clark, Black Management Forum, Multichoice South Africa and the Department of International Relations & Cooperation and others.

Miquette Temlett

Miquette completed her Bachelors degree in Human and Social Sciences with specialization in psychological counselling through UNISA. She has done additional training in therapeutic counselling, trauma counselling and HIV/AIDS Care and Counselling. Miquette is also a registered counsellor and in the process of completing a post-graduate specialization in art therapy accredited by the George Washington University in Nebraska. She is experienced in developing and offering presentations and talks to groups on many social, psychological and educational topics. She also does some freelance writing and journalism. Miquette has extensive experience in remedial teaching and her keen interest in neuroscience and learning stems from these experiences.
Kurt Minnaar

Kurt Minnaar

Kurt Minnaar is a youthful, dynamic Mathematics Teacher and choreographer. Not being one to succumb to a fairly inoperative education system, Kurt has risen to the challenge of assisting his students with both understanding mathematical concepts, as well as finding a new appreciation for the subject they would otherwise not have felt empowered to excel in. The impact of Kurt's work-to-date is amplified by the recent media interest in his eclectic teaching techniques. From radio to print to television, journalists and corporate leaders alike are lining up to document Kurt's contribution to education and catch a glimpse of him in action. This unprecedented media attention is testimony to the change one can make when one dares to be different. Kurt is a teacher of integrity and sincere passion. He goes beyond the call of duty, and while teachers nationwide are inundated with delivering a content-heavy-and-time-consuming academic curriculum, Kurt finds the time, resources and energy to serve his learners to the best of his abilities and provide guidance to learners who have often become disenfranchised by the schooling system, particularly the teaching of mathematics.
Mark Horner

Mark Horner

Mark is the CEO of Siyavula Education, a social enterprise focused on building rich, integrated learning experiences for maths and science using science and technology. Siyavula's primary commercial offering is an adaptive practice service for mathematics, physics and chemistry in high school. Siyavula has developed a catalogue of openly-licensed textbooks in collaboration with educators, sponsors and the Department of Basic Education that has been endorsed and printed for all government schools. Mark has been working in the education sector since 2002 with openness, technology and community as his main tools. He was the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow for Open and Collaborative resources as well as the co-founder of the Free High School Science Texts project. Mark has a PhD in physics from the University of Cape Town and conducted his research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California on the results from the STAR experiment at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

Daya Chetty

He is currently principal of Laudium Secondary School and his been in the teaching profession for 32 years and has taught from grade 2 to grade 12. Specialising in Economics. Maintained a 100% pass rate in each year he has taught matric. Daya Chetty was previously deputy principal of Laudium Secondary School from 2000 to 2006 and was thereafter promoted to principal of Jacaranda Primary School. He was in this post until 31 July 2010. As principal he developed Jacaranda Primary School into one of the leading primary schools in the district. In October 2008 he was requested by the district director to temporarily act as principal of Laudium Secondary School when the school had no leadership. During his tenure, he restored the school to a disciplined institution and took the pass rate from 45% in the preparatory exams to 98% in matric that year. He ensured that the culture of teaching and learning was at its highest. He has many other achievements and posts including having been selected by the MEC and district director in 2003 as Acting principal of Rosina Sedibane Sports School. AWARDS AND POSITIONS Awarded 2nd Position in the National Teacher’s Awards for Excellence in Secondary School leadership in 2012. He was chairperson of the SADTU (Laudium branch for 15 years) and served on various portfolios of the region and province. 1990 - 2015 He is currently president of the South African Principal’s Association (SAPA) in Gauteng. 2014- CURRENT Completed the Two Oceans marathon 56km in Cape Town 10 times awarded a permanent Blue number Completed the Comrades marathon 89km from Durban – Pietermaritzburg 11 times and awarded a permanent Green number Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship by the United States Government to study at the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. Part-Time lecturer - Law in Education at University of Pretoria (Bed) Hons group – 2003 - CURRENT Dissertation topic: A teacher’s perspective on the selection of a Secondary School for their child.” Graduate of the Leadership and management programme for principals – WITS University Addressed the Principal’s Association of Philadelphia in the United States in October 2011. 1st South African Principal to have a publication in the International Confederation of principal’s Journal in August 2011 titled “Is Cyberbullying Prevalent in our schools.” Seconded in 2014 to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) as SAPA secondee to the Education Management and governance directorate (EMGD). Policies developed: 1. Policy on the Standards for Principalship. 2. Positive and precautionary discipline at schools. 3. Induction and mentorship program for principals. Involved in assisting schools throughout the country through workshops on various topics regarding Management, Leadership and Discipline.

Willem van der Velden

Willem van der Velden grew up in the Netherlands, where he became passionate about education, the Waldorf way, after his own disappointing experiences as a mainstream scholar. He studied to be a primary teacher and worked as a class and subject teacher in all primary grades. He then volunteered as a teacher trainer in the Gambia (West-Africa), after which he was asked to join the Centre for Creative Education (CCE) in Cape Town, where he has now been for 21 years. He graduated at Oxford Brookes University with a Masters in Education. Seeing the main challenge of primary teaching as reading and understanding the children’s needs, Willem focuses his work as a teacher trainer on the process of motivating pupils to learn. Teachers who can inspire their pupils, through enjoyable and meaningful activities, will find the children co-operative and keen to learn. With this approach he has worked with students on primary didactics, maths and music. He also became the Project Manager of Zenzeleni, CCE’s demonstration school in Khayelitsha, where he mentored teachers for several years. He then returned full-time to CCE, accepting the role of Academic Head, but the practical work with future teachers still is his greatest source of inspiration.
Lindsay Wesner

Lindsay Wesner

Lindsay is a passionate education visionary with vast experience assisting others in adapting to, and thriving in, technology-rich classroom environments. She begun her career as a creative, engaging, and innovative English, Afrikaans, Geography, and Life Orientation teacher and later progressed to school management and teacher training in her capacity as EdTech Innovation Leader at Parklands College. Lindsay claimed the South African ‘iTeacher’ Award at the Apple in Education Awards in both 2015 and 2016 as well as the 2016 EduWeek ‘Teacher of Tomorrow’ Award for her outstanding contribution to the South Africa education sector. Lindsay is a member of the Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2015, an Apple Professional Learning Specialist and a Google Certified Trainer. Lindsay is currently the Senior Innovation Coach at CloudEd Solutions working with teachers and school leaders around the country engaging in teacher training and change management associated with technology integration. She is also currently reading her Masters in Education at Stellenbosch University, with a focus on teacher professional development. Lindsay continues to pride herself in being at the forefront of the implementation of educational technologies in South African classrooms and beyond, living to inspire and empower teachers to confidently navigate the changing educational landscape.
Marlena Kruger

Marlena Kruger

Marlena Kruger obtained her Doctorate in Education from the University of Johannesburg in 1999. She worked for more than 25 years at public higher education institutions, i.e. as a lecturer, Instructional Designer and Director of Technology-assisted Learning at University of Johannesburg. In August 2012 she was appointed as Dean of Faculties at CTI Education Group, a private higher education institution that is now fully owned by Pearson. During these years she was actively involved in the roll-out and distribution of computer tablets, training and development of lecturers and students and the development of best practices for blended learning – distributed over 12 campuses in South Africa. She is co-author of two books and a chapter on Mobile Learning in the book: Leading issues in e-Learning (2015). She is currently busy authoring a new book on how to master techno-life balance and being techno-life wise. She read numerous papers, focusing on different aspects of successful implementation of hybrid learning initiatives, at more than 60 national and international conferences. She also has widely published in national and international accredited journals on related research topics. Marlena resigned from CTI Education Group in 2015 to start her own business, MindUnique Education (Pty) Ltd. She is passionate about the holistic development and wellness of people, while integrating neuro-scientific, education and -leadership principles. Her focus is to empower people to effectively and wisely manage technology and social media towards mastering the art of techno-life balance and mind-body wellness in our digital-immersed world @home, @school/varsity and @work. She also recently registered a non-profit company, namely Technolife Wise Foundation. She is married with André, have three sons of whom two are married and three grandchildren. She loves playing tennis, hiking, camping, birding, music and spending time with family and friends.
Dick Ngambi

Associate Professor Dick Ng’ambi

Convener: PhD Programme Stream Head: Educational Technology Programmes Interests: Mobile learning, emerging technologies, emerging digital practices, ICT integration into practice, social learning, online learning, transformative pedagogies, knowledge production, and Open Education Resources (OER). Principal Investigator: SETA funded project training 450 in-service teachers in ICT Integration into pedagogy for the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) using ETILAB's sandpit 'play' approaches. Founder & Director – Educational Technology Inquiry Lab (ETILAB) Host/Chair: Educational Technology Think-Tanks Chair: UCT Press Editorial Board Webmaster: School of Education Website Africa Corresponding Editor (2013-2016) – British Journal of Educational Technology Conference Chair: Emerging Technologies and Authentic Learning in Higher Vocation Context Conference - Cape Town (31 Aug to 3 September 2015) Research Gate Profile: TEDx Talk: Imaging human interaction & technology

Stephen Bestbier

Stephen brought 14 years worth of experience as a high school teacher with him when he joined the Snapplify Education & Sales Team. As our resident EdTech Teacher, he helps teachers to embrace digital transformation in the classroom. Stephen is passionate about helping learners achieve their fullest potential was nurtured at Edgemead High School, where he taught English and Life Orientation, and LEAP, an intervention school for Maths and Science. At the latter, he worked with learners from underprivileged backgrounds to enable them to succeed in their applications to tertiary education institutions. That same passion led him to teach in Japan for 4 years. He loves teaching, learning and education; as well as building his understanding of teachers and their needs in the classroom.
Leigh Morris

Leigh Morris

Leigh Morris is a passionate English and history educator, Google Certified Trainer, and winner of the iTeacher South Africa 2016. She is an innovative disruptor who is working on changing the South African curriculum 1 project at a time.
Debbie Shafer

Debbie Schäfer

Debbie Schäfer, the Minister of Education, is a woman of few words, to the point and very efficient. She was born in Pietermaritzburg and says her family moved to Johannesburg when she was only three months old. “We then moved to Bergvliet in Cape Town when I was in standard 7.” She then attended Bergvliet High School, where she matriculated. Schäfer says she grew up in a very normal household. “My mom was a housewife and my dad worked for an old fashioned building society.” As a teenager Schäfer was not interested in politics, as she was not raised in a political household. “I always wanted to be a teacher, but in grade 10 I decided to study law.” It was only when she was at university that she became interested in politics. “I studied law at UCT at the height of the political unrest and then practised law for 12 years. In 1999 I started to think about politics, as I was irritated with things in South Africa. I was wondering what I can do about it, but I never planned on a career in politics.” Political career Although Schäfer did not plan on a career in the public sector, she found herself increasingly drawn towards it, as she wanted to make a difference. “I wanted to help out and get involved in structures. Before I knew it, I got sucked into politics and in 2002 I was elected ward councillor for Constantia/Wynberg. It was an extremely busy time, as my twin daughters were only three years old and I still had my own law practice.” In 2006 Schäfer was elected the ward councillor for Bergvliet, where she lives, and in 2009 she stood for Parliament and got elected as a MP for the Democratic Alliance. “I kind of got enticed to continue my political career,” she explains. In Parliament she served as Deputy Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, and was a member of the Justice and Constitutional Development Portfolio Committee. She was also elected by Parliament to serve on the Magistrates' Commission. At this stage her work took almost all her time and Schäfer says she saw very little of her two daughters. Thankfully the situation improved now that she is a MEC. “I now see more of them and can take them to school in the mornings. Even though she has work to do in the evenings, she can at least do it at home and be with her family. Passion for education It is obvious when Schäfer talks about her portfolio, that she is very passionate about it, especially because she is a mother. “I’m very passionate about education because I have children. I want to improve our education system.” She believes that some of the problems we face in our schools, are because parents are not involved enough in their children’s education. “I’m horrified at the lack of interest some parents show. I believe that every child needs an involved parent to thrive.” There are three principles that she feels are non-negotiable when it comes to parents and their children: “Number one, you must teach and raise your children with sound values, which for me are Christian; number two is that you must be their parent, not their buddy; and number three is that you must ensure you are there when they need you – as a parent you must give direction and encouragement where needed.” People in her position as Minister of Education are often criticized, as her predecessors can confirm. Schäfer says the easiest way to deal with critique and do her job as best as she can, is to stick to her department’s priorities. “We have to decide on our major priorities and on what is in the best interest of the children. We must then stick to our decisions and be able to justify them,” she explains. Her motto clearly shows her dedication to her portfolio: “I try to do everything to the best of my ability in an open and honest way.” Schäfer feels that a leader plays a very important part in their department’s success. “You must manage and lead. It is your responsibility as leader to give your team direction. You must always try to lead by example and work hard.” Her vision for education in the Western Cape is simple: “To be the leader in excellent quality education for all.” Free time Schäfer is reluctant to speak of her private life, but says for family time she likes to relax with her 15 year old daughters. “We like to go out to eat and I like to go shopping with my daughters.” When she talks about her daughters, it is obvious she is very proud of them. “They are both very athletic. The one plays A-team water polo and B-team netball, the other plays A-team netball and does road-running.” Some of her favourite things to do are to go out for coffee, although she always has to take her cell phone with and sometimes even her laptop. “I also like to cook, but I do not like the cleaning afterwards. I love watching the television series House of Cards – yes, a political series! – and I enjoy reading. I do not have a favourite author, as it changes, but I enjoy books by Michael Connelly and thrillers by the Norwegian writer John Nesbo.” Even though Schäfer is extremely busy, she makes time to go away with her family. “Christmas time we are usually at our house. To break away we like to go to Stilbaai caravanning with friends,” she says. Part of their close-knit family is their African Grey parrot Gus and their Yorkshire terrier Fergie, and most recently their new Bernese puppy, Maya. With Schäfer’s dedication, work ethic and passion for good quality education, our children are in good hands.