The School of Education at UKZN recently hosted a celebratory lunch for five of its staff members who graduated with doctoral degrees.

The lunch, held at the Makaranga Lodge near Hillcrest, was facilitated by the Dean and Head of the School, Professor Thabo Msibi, who believes that staff need to be lauded for their academic achievements and excellence.

The staff celebrated on the day were Drs Nomkhosi NzimandeJugathambal RamdhaniBheki MthembuCedric Mpungose and Phephani Gumbi.

‘It was an excellent gesture,’ said Nzimande. ‘It’s not every day you get to engage with the Dean in a social space so having lunch with him and the cluster leaders was a special occasion for us new PhD staff graduates. It showed that the Dean not only cares for the wellbeing of the staff but also recognises and celebrates every staff member’s achievements. The lunch was also a way for new graduates to celebrate together,’ she said.

For Ramdhani, having a PhD has given her the opportunity to explore existing knowledge as well as engage and create new knowledge in the field of poverty and school textbooks, in particular, Economics textbooks. She believes that initiatives such as the celebratory lunch by School management play a great role in motivating staff.

‘I would like to thank the Dean and (the rest of) management for their generosity and for the kind words of congratulation expressed at the function. It demonstrates the Dean’s appreciation and understanding in the hard work invested by staff in obtaining their doctorates,’ said Ramdhani.

Gumbi, who wrote his thesis in isiZulu to promote African languages in academia, offered this advice to other staffers wanting to pursue postgraduate degrees: ‘It seems impossible to achieve any dream until it is realised, so keep at it until you do.’

Words: Melissa Mungroo