Maths and science TV educator William Smith will be receiving an honorary doctorate from Rhodes University. Photo: GCIS
Maths and science TV educator William Smith will be receiving an honorary doctorate from Rhodes University. Photo: GCIS

TV educator William Smith to receive an honorary doctorate from Rhodes University

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Apr 23, 2021

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Maths and science TV educator with decades of experience William Smith will be receiving an honorary doctorate from Rhodes University.

Smith, who has helped generations pass these challenging subjects in high school, will be honoured at the university’s 72nd graduation ceremony on April 28.

In the university’s statement Smith was acknowledged for his work which has reached many young people in South Africa and beyond, for whom his televised lessons were the only quality instruction they received in maths and science.

Rhodes University vice-chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela said: “Thanks to his exceptional teaching skills and compassion, for almost two decades, the Learning Channel became an indispensable platform for young people of our country to receive interactive TV education in mathematics and science.

“In this way, he became the teacher for the entire South African nation.”

Smith who is a Rhodes University alumni completed both his BSc and BSc (Hons), both with distinction.

In 1962, he then completed his MSc in seven months at the University of Natal.

Following his journey in the world of business working at African Explosives and Chemical Industries and Afrox, Smith decided to follow his passion for teaching.

Smith started his first teaching project by establishing the Star Schools to provide value for money education with top-class teachers.

Over the next 25 years, he became famous throughout South Africa, where his schools have taught almost a million pupils of all races.

He received many accolades for his innovations in teaching, including the highly prestigious Teacher of the Year award.

In 1990, Smith began producing The Learning Channel’s educational TV programmes as a result of his work on the programme, he was voted one of the top three presenters on South African TV in 1998.

Apart from his career in teaching Smith is also a renowned conservationist and owned the Featherbed Nature Reserve in Knysna, where he lived until the sale of the land and company in 2004.

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