Meet our top performing first-year student from the Faculty of Education – Bonani Gwamanda

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A 41-year-old Teacher from Soweto in Johannesburg, Ms Bonani Gwamanda is our top performing first-year student in the Faculty of Education.

Determined to advance her career as an Educator, Ms Gwamanda enrolled for an Advanced Diploma in School Leadership and Management (ADSLM) at UFH – a two-year programme designed to empower teachers who aspire to become principals or heads of departments at schools.

With an overall pass of just over 80% in the first semester of her studies, she became the top student - this setting an example for her learners at Mxolisi Primary School.

Originally from Umlazi in KwaZulu Natal, Bonani started her career as a volunteer teacher assistant almost 10 years ago – a decision she says was inspired by her love for working with children.

“I have always been passionate about working with children, it is fascinating to witness how their minds grow through the different stages of life as they are being nurtured, hence I started volunteering as a teacher at a local school. Over the years I became attached to the profession and I decided to make it official by getting a qualification.”

She enrolled for a National Profession Teaching Diploma which she obtained from a South African University in 2016. Thereafter, Ms Gwamanda was officially appointed as an Educator by the Gauteng Department of Education.

After five years of being a professional teacher, the mother of two daughters aged 22 and 23 felt that it was time to further her studies in order to move up the ladder. “My daughters are both graduates and I felt it was the right time to start focusing on advancing my career,” she said.

In her pursuit, she searched around for suitable programmes to enroll in and came across information about UFH’s ADSLM programme which she applied and was accepted for.

The Faculty of Education offers a variety of qualifications from undergrad to PhD level. During the 2022 May Graduation, the Faculty produced the third highest number of doctoral degrees.

Asked about her experience as a student at UFH, Gwamanda had this to say: “Enrolling at UFH was the best decision I have taken. The Lecturers are supportive and their classes are very informative. I always recommend UFH to my colleagues who also, like me, want to advance their career. This is truly where leaders are produced.”

Gwamanda’s goal is to become a school principal one day.