Natasha Dittrich, a Belhar, Cape Town, cleaner-based teacher, says you’re not too old to learn.
The 47-year-old mother of two, who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Cape (UWC) on 5 May, is proof that learning is a lifelong journey and it is never too late to start.
After years of working as a cleaner, with only a matriculation qualification, Detrich has packed his overalls and has been a Dr. since January. Van der Ross is teaching mathematics and social science in grades 5 and 6 at elementary school.
He said that it was his job as a cleaner at the UWC, which first sparked Dietrich’s desire to pursue further studies.
Dietrich started UWC as a casual worker with Bidwest Prestige in 2011 and was permanently employed in 2014.
“As I worked at the racelife, where students spent time studying, I found myself surrounded by a learning environment. I also saw the students’ commitment and their struggles. I thought to myself: ‘If they can do this, I can too.’
In 2015, on the last day of student registration, Detrich decided to submit his online application.
“I was honestly a little scared when I was accepted. I thought, now I have to face the reality that I have to study and work. “
She attends classes at UWC during the day, before beginning her eight-hour cleaning shift at 3 in the afternoon. Most of his assignments were completed over night.
Dietrich says that his success would not have been possible without the support of his family. Her children, aged 18 and 30, and her husband, take pride in Dittrich’s dedication and hard work.
“I knew I had to do something and I had to make a difference. I come from a very poor community where there is a lot of unemployment and gangsterism, ”Dietrich said. Impressed by the opportunity to study at UWC, which also paid her fees, Dietrich opted for a degree in teaching.
“It was the best direction I could choose. Being surrounded by children and giving them an opportunity to teach was the best thing, ”she said.
Manny Regal, executive director of finance and services at UWC, said that Dietrich’s remarkable achievement is a testament to his determination.
“It takes commitment and patience and work to meet such a demanding degree,” he said.
“What is pleasing to me is how this opportunity has been successfully used in life. His story is one of the many successes at the UWC, where anyone – no matter their circumstances – can receive quality education. “
Prof. Rajendran Govinder, Dean of UWC’s Faculty of Education, said that Dittrich has demonstrated good character, industry and dedication in his undergraduate studies.
“She was always working with ideas that helped solve problems and foster collaboration among her peers.”
“We, as faculty, are extremely pleased with her outstanding achievement and her passion to become a proficient beginning teacher.”
As Regal said: “We are confident that wherever she goes, she will make a positive impact and we wish her every success in the journey ahead.”
Dietrich recently celebrated her success with her former colleagues at Bidwest Prestige.
Asked if the study bug had bitten, Dietrich said: “Oh, yes, definitely. I’m going back next year to do my honor and I’m not stopping until my Does not have a doctorate. “