Meet some of our teachers

They’re enthusiastic and dedicated, and they love teaching at Edify. Meet some of our wonderful teachers …

Arno Els, Maths

Arno Els, who teaches high school Maths, found his passion for teaching back when he was a student studying Quantitative Risk Management at North-West University. 

“I helped friends with their Maths, and I found I had a passion for teaching. Also, people said I was good at explaining,” he says.

Els joined an accounting firm for a while after graduating, but quickly discovered that he didn’t enjoy the long hours, or the routine, and switched to teaching high school Maths. He worked at a government school for eight months, and then joined Edify’s Johannesburg operations. In 2023 he started teaching Maths at Edify in Pretoria.

“I love it,” he says. “It’s never the same, day to day, and I love the children and the stories they tell me. They each grow differently.”

Matthews Rakau, Maths

Matthews Rakau joined Edify’s complement of Maths teachers in 2017, and teaches matric Core Maths, Further Studies Maths and Cambridge curriculum Maths, at the Advanced Subsidiary level and for A-levels.

It was while Rakau was studying Applied Maths and Statistics at the University of Johannesburg that he realised he didn’t want to go into Actuarial Science as he had planned. But he loved the Mathematics part of his degree course, and went on to do an honours degree in Applied Maths, tutoring high school pupils and fellow students while he did so, to earn extra income.

“I fell in love with teaching,” he says. By chance, Rakau saw an Edify advertisement for Maths teachers, applied and got the job. The rest is history.

Rakau, who teaches at Edify in Johannesburg, says he loves the small classes – never more than six learners in a class – because he can give each child the attention they need. “Each learner is different. This way I can help each individual with what they, in particular, are struggling with,” he says.

Carla Symmington, Afrikaans

Carla Symmington started teaching Afrikaans at Edify in 2021, just as classes started going back to being in-person after the online-only teaching that had to take place during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

“It’s amazing,” says Symmington, who has a teaching degree from a private higher education institution, the Akademie Reformatoriese Opleiding en Studies (Aros), in Pretoria. “I was a teacher’s assistant for four years, but this is more personal, and because I have none of the usual teacher’s admin and assessment work to do, I can actually focus on working with the children. It’s so much better; you really get to know them.”

While Symmington is qualified to teach Maths and Science too, she loves teaching her language to her Edify learners, and learning some of their home languages in turn. 

Hardus Nieuwoudt, Science

When Hardus Nieuwoudt graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering he took a stop-gap job as a Science teacher and discovered a passion.

“I discovered I really like people, and working with children. The learners give me energy, even on the days when I am not feeling up to it.”

He teaches Science to learners in Grade 8 to matric, and loves the small classes that allow him to give personalised attention to each learner. 

“It’s a much, much more effective way of teaching than having 45 children in a class,” says Nieuwoudt, who teaches at Edify’s Bedfordview and Hurlingham outlets, in Johannesburg.