TEACHING is a humble yet rewarding profession, moulding young minds and stabilising futures.
Deborah Labans has been part of this essential occupation for 22 years and says she can’t imagine herself doing anything else.
After acquiring her diploma in education at Dower College, West End, Labans furthered her training with an advanced certificate in education from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
She now puts her passion for education to good use at Hillside High School.
Labans originally intended to be an air-hostess but apartheid laws did not allow her.
“My mother, didn’t mind that. She had always wanted me to teach,” she said.
The English teacher explained that her career could influence lives: “My favourite part of teaching is having a group of youngsters in my class and knowing that for that hour I can make or break a future.
“As a teacher, the salary is not the reward, watching children progress brings you back everyday,” Labans said.
According to Labans, illiteracy is the biggest problem for northern areas schools.
“We have Grade 10 pupils who can’t read. They are sent on from grade to grade as some teachers try to escape the task of educating them.
“We need more remedial teachers to focus on these children. We simply don’t have the time.
“We already have overloaded classes and our syllabi to finish. As a result, these children remain neglected and can’t learn. This forces many of them to drop out,” she said. Labans’s dedication to her children does not end when they leave school.
The inspirational teacher was also part of the Hillside High school library renewal initiative.
“We managed to revive the library, stocking the facility with over 3000 books and computers.
“The beauty of teaching is that you come to school expecting to teach a subject yet you leave having enriched lives,” Labans said.