Fake teachers fired in KZN

2012-08-08 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Education Department said 92 teachers who were teaching with fake qualifications were dismissed in June 2012. But they will not be prosecuted in the courts.

Education spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi said prosecution did not necessarily mean taking the culprit to jail or court.

He told The Witness that their dismissal was a form of punishment.

“This was a straightforward case because these teachers admitted willingly that they were wrong.”

Danie Strydom of qualifications verification company QVS said there had been an increase in the number of professionals who plied a trade with fake credentials in the public and private sectors.

He said there had been an increase in the number of fake qualifications uncovered.

“A growing number of workers see this as a quick route to a high-paying job,” Strydom said.

The department said most of the unqualified teachers were from the rural areas, like Umkhanyakude, where the department was failing to attract teachers.

“Even the students we sponsor with bursaries don’t want to go to rural areas after they are qualified,” Mahlambi added.

He said the department was not aware of unqualified teachers in other schools.

Themba Ndhlovu of the South African Council of Educators (Sace) said the problem of fake teachers was widespread. In the past two weeks two people had been arrested with bogus qualifications, and the police were investigating several more cases.

The council has called on all teachers in the province to resubmit their degrees and diplomas for verification. It warned that those who failed to do so will be investigated, and if found guilty they could face dismissal.

Strydom said that between 10% and 12% of all degrees and diplomas verified by his company turned out to be bogus.

He said many of the fake documents looked genuine.

“What I find surprising is the fact that most employers — including the public service — still accept these documents at face value and don’t take the trouble to verify them.

“There is ample evidence that degree and diploma cheats cannot properly do the jobs they are hired for, because they lack the skills of their qualified counterparts.”

They also deprived graduates and holders of diplomas and certificates who worked hard to get their qualifications from getting work,” Strydom said.

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