Top achiever in Technical Mathematics, Gift Makosha Mabzwi was honoured by Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga.

By Giyani Baloi

A Zimbabwe-born teacher, Peter Baloyi, waxed lyrical when he spoke about the art of teaching mathematics successfully.

Baloyi’s top pupil, Gift Makosha Mabzwi (18) from the SJ Van der Merwe Technical High School in Capricorn in Polokwane, Limpopo, obtained 97% in Technical Mathematics.

Technical Mathematics covers material designed for career technical or general studies for students who need to study particular mathematical topics. Topics will include measurement, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, graphs and finance. These are presented on an introductory level and the emphasis is on applications.

Makosha is the top achiever in the subject nationwide.  

Baloyi holds a BSc. (Hons) in Mathematics degree from the Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe. He describes maths as his favourite subject.

“I want to debunk the notion that mathematics is a difficult subject. It is not,” said Baloyi.

In 2005, Baloyi came to South Africa to do a B.Tech in Education at the Pretoria Technical College. During that period, he started interacting with some pupils, especially on maths, his favourite subject. That’s when he picked up that a lot of them needed help.
In no time, pupils started flocking to his home for part-time and extra maths classes.

After completing his degree, Baloyi returned to Zim to continue maths teaching crusade. 

Unfortunately, the economic situation in his country of birth took a turn for the worst. Teachers and schools were not spared either. Baloyi decided to pack his bags and returned to Mzansi.

On his return, he hooked up with a friend in Giyani, Limpopo, and got a teaching job at Nkwangulatilo High School. As one of the top maths teachers, it didn’t take him long to be snatched by yet another local school, the Khanyisa Education Centre. 

In 2006, the Department of Basic Education, under the minister Naledi Pandor, created special posts for foreign teachers to teach maths, and Baloyi grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

He applied and was accepted. He was then posted at the Derek Kobe Technical High School in Lebowakgomo from 2007 to 2020.

In the beginning of 2021, Baloyi joined a neighbouring school, the S J Van der Merwe Technical High School. That is where his Grade 12 pupil Gift scooped the National Top Technical Maths Achiever award.
Baloyi described Gift as a disciplined and hardworking pupil who has the right attitude. –

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