“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- Nelson Mandela
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Speakers Information
This Event Features:

Schalk Bezuidenhout, Anna Pons - OECD, Helgo Schomer, Eugene Daniels, Karen Dudley, Casey Prins (Ubuntu), Deidre Kempen
& Prof. Angela Duckworth

About Prof. Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth is the founder and CEO of Character Lab, a non-profit whose mission is to advance scientific insights that help children thrive. She is also the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, faculty co-director of the Penn-Wharton Behaviour Change for Good Initiative, and faculty co-director of Wharton People Analytics.

A 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Angela has advised the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs.
Prior to her career in research, Angela founded a summer school for underserved children that was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study and, in 2018, celebrated its 25th anniversary. She has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a math and science teacher at public schools in New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.

Angela completed her undergraduate degree in Advanced Studies Neurobiology at Harvard, graduating magna cum laude. With the support of a Marshall Scholarship, she completed an MSc with Distinction in Neuroscience from Oxford University. She completed her PhD in Psychology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.

Angela’s TED talk is among the most-viewed of all time. Her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is a #1 New York Times best seller. Angela is also co-host, with Stephen Dubner, of the podcast No Stupid Questions

About Dr Helgo Schomer

Dr. Schomer's desire to be an eternal student led him to study at several universities, picking up a BA, BA (Hons) and an MA before earning his PhD in Psychology at the University of Cape Town. Soon afterwards he became a Senior Academic at UCT. His teaching and research career spanned 30 years and his classes became so popular he was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award in 2004. Dr. Schomer has authored over 200 journal articles, research reports and conference papers and he has conducted over 4000 lectures, seminars, motivational talks and workshops.
Alongside his career in academia he built a private practice specializing in Health Behaviour Modification and Crisis & Trauma Intervention. He has counselled burnt-out professionals, elite athletes, overburned caregivers and struggling families, helping to anchor and stabilize individuals looking for balance and improved health.

Although he still guest lectures at several instituions and regularly contributes to magazine articles, radio and TV programmes, he now focuses on motivational speaking and individual life mentoring.
Dr Schomer & Associates have also created a new consultancy where life issues of health, relationships, and faith receive the attention of two professionals, male and female, Dr Schomer & Dr Schomer, to come to powerful solutions.

Career Highlights:
  • University of Cape Town Distinguished Teacher
  • Director of the Mind Matters Consultancy: Dr. Schomer & Associates
  • Golden Key International Society Honorary Member
  • Past Radio Shrink on the Redi Thlabi Show Talk Radio 702/567 Cape Talk
  • Founder and Past Chairperson of the Division of Health Psychology of PsySSA
  • Past SA College of Applied Psychology Academic Board Member
  • Retired Psychologist
  • Mentor

About Mrs Karen Dudley

Karen Dudley assumed duty as Director: Curriculum Development (General Education and Training) Grades ECD to Grade 9 on 1 July 2017.

Karen Dudley has served education within the WCED for a period of 35 years in numerous capacities. Prior to her appointment as Director: Curriculum Development (GET), she was Head: Curriculum Coordination and Advice in Metro Central.
Prior to being Head Curriculum Manager at Metro Central, she Headed Assessment and Examinations in Metro South Education Districts from Gr R – 12. Karen Dudley also served as a Languages Subject Adviser in Metro South from Grades 4 – 9.

She has a B.A degree from UWC, A degree in Specialised Education from UNISA, Honours Degree from Stellenbosch University and a Master’s degree in Language across the Curriculum in Content-Based Language, Learning & Teaching from University of Pennsylvania.

She enjoys the outdoors, sightseeing and sport, in particular volleyball. “I used to play and coach the South African ladies’ team for 18 years and represented South Africa at international sporting events such as the All Africa Games, World Cup Championships both indoor and Beach Volleyball.”

Other interests include travelling, reading and spending quality time with her partner and children.

On 3 September 2020, the following resolution was adopted in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament upon a motion moved by Ms LJ Botha, Chairperson - Standing Committee on Education:

“That the House – congratulates Ms Karen Dudley for being selected to form part of the Mail & Guardian Powerful Women list for 2020; commends the transformative work done by Ms Dudley in her role at the Western Cape Education Department as the Director of Education for Early Childhood Development until Grade 9; and notes that the award list is truly a testimony of the excellent and tireless work done by women in our country.

In 2020, Ms Dudley was recognized and received the award as one of Mail & Guardian’s Powerful Women for 2020.

Her vision is to constantly focus on the improvement of the learning and teaching environment as well as the outcomes achieved inclusive of teachers and learners; to pursue knowledge of best practices, differentiated learning, current educational theory and accurately measuring and analysing data to improve learning and teaching; and to build strong and respectful relationships of trust and support with the eight districts and the schools within these districts. She notes the importance of STEAMAC – A for the Arts and Arts Education as part of the holistic development of the learner. Ms. Dudley’s purpose is to forge good relations with the 8 Districts, the HEIs, NGOs and all other education partners.

Ms Dudley’s strategic plan and vision as Director of GET, is to ensure all children are literate, numerate and enjoy the experience. Once of her favorite quotes as she and her team endeavor to do this is: “Don’t tell me the skies the limit, when there are footprints on the moon!”

About Schalk Bezuidenhout

Schalk Bezuidenhout was born in Kempton Park or as he calls it - 'The New York of the East Rand'.
In Kempton Park the traditional Afrikaans way of living was a good life. Your mother's breast milk would be brannewyn en coke and you would walk kaalvoet to school. His family and friends stood back as they watched Schalk evolve from an Afrikaans conservative caterpillar into a beautiful dramaqueen butterfly, complete with a moustache and furry afro. It was obvious to Schalk's parents that he would study drama, and to help numb the pain they sent him away to study at the University of Cape Town. While studying in Cape Town Schalk slowly began to realise that there was so much more to life than boerewors and rugby, and started doing stand-up in April 2011.
On stage Schalk is fun and energetic and appeals to people of all kinds and colours.

About Eugene Daniels

Eugene Daniels started teaching in Mitchells Plain in 1982, became an education activist and an agent of change in the difficult 1980’s. He is a founder member of WECTU and SADTU.
He became a Circuit Manager in 1997 in Western Cape Education Department. After a series of deaths in the province, he became the Provincial Safe Schools Manager towards safeguarding more than 400 high-risk schools in the Western Cape.  
He was appointed as a District Director of Metropole South in 2001 and managed a large district team that supported 150 schools over a period of 11 years.

Eugene resigned from the WCED on 30 June 2012 and joined the Citizen’s Movement for Social Change to activate active citizens across SA, champion a cradle to career strategy and meaningful change in education.
Eugene is a founder member of Go for Gold and has served on a number of boards of a range of NGOs and WCED Education Council.
He has been involved a range of turnaround interventions to support districts and schools in 5 provinces across South Africa. He is the Head of Governance and Schools with Education Ally which is a School Operating Partner within the Collaboration Project.

About Anna Pons

Anna Pons is project lead of the Global Teaching InSights at the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills. This project aims to provide a space for teachers to learn and share their professional practice with peers across borders through classroom video. Previously, Anna led a Video Study to advance research on how teaching varies across countries and what practices are most effective for raising student outcomes and co-ordinated in-depth reviews of the effectiveness and equity of nine education systems in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
She also co-authored the report Equity and Quality in Education, which identified system and school-level policies and practices for supporting disadvantaged schools and students. Prior to joining the OECD in 2010, Anna gained work experience in the Catalan government, a local government, and the private sector. Anna holds a BA in Economics and a BA in Political Science from University Pompeu Fabra, and a Master in Economics and Public Policy from Sciences Po, ENSAE and École Polytechnique.

Keamogetswe Seemela

My name is Keamogetswe Agnes Seemela and I live in Krugersdorp, Gauteng. I matriculated in 2021 at Hoërskool Noordheuwel, I am currently a student at the North West University, Potchefstroom campbus, where I’m studying towards a bachelor’s degree in the Humanities with Psychology. I live audaciously and boldly and leave room for mistakes and development.

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