Mystery of 22?000 lost teachers

2012-11-08 00:00

MORE than 22 000 teachers have not showed up for verification in a head count in KwaZulu-Natal to identify “ghost” teachers.

This is according to an unfinalised report compiled by the internal audit unit of the Treasury Department.

Ghost staffers are those who do not exist in the system but draw a salary.

Treasury’s Kwena Lamola pleaded with district managers to help the department communicate the message to the teachers who have not been accounted for.

Lamola said the department wanted to conclude the project, which had been running for over two years.

About 120 000 staffers have been verified.

Dr Nkosinathi Sishi, of the Department of Education, said there was a perception that there were many ghost teachers in the province, but after the final report by the Treasury, he added, he doubted there would be more than 10.

Teachers who fail to be verified will be paid by cheque rather than by electronic transfer. Any cheques not collected within a month will result in the salaries being terminated.

Sishi told journalists on Tuesday that when the department found a ghost teacher, the security agent would take over.

The investigation also covers principals and employees in head office.

The department said there was no evidence that the 22 000 teachers who had not been verified were ghost teachers.

It believes the number includes teachers who have not been informed of the verification process.

Sishi said many teachers had not been head-counted because some worked nights and others had died.

Another possible reason was that the count focused only on mainstream schools.

“There is no way you can cheat a system like this,” Sishi said, but he conceded that there were at least three suspected “ghosts” whom the department was investigating.

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