The Vice-Chancellor's Medal, awarded to Derek Joubert

23 June 2008

Education stalwart Derek Joubert.

The education of historically disadvantaged groups has been the focus of Mr Joubert's life's work. An alumnus of UCT, his career as a teacher was abruptly ended in 1976 while he has teaching at Bridgetown Secondary School in Athlone. He was expelled for undisclosed reasons and banned from teaching nationally.

Mr Joubert's resolve remained strong and it was within the NGO sector that he next made his mark. In 1986 he joined the Western Cape branch of the South African Institute of Race Relations to manage existing education programmes.

In 1992 he established Headstart College, which provided bridging for matriculants from township schools who wished to study science and engineering at tertiary level. An in-service teacher development programme for township teachers of maths, physics and English, started in 1999. Four years later these initiatives were combined to form the Association for Educational Transformation.

The impact of his work has ranged from bursary support to teacher enrichment, to offering hope and opportunity, to nation building. He is a shining example of the human spirit and what can be achieved through dedication and commitment.

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