Teachers with sex offences should be blacklisted – Sace

2016-09-04 10:00

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Johannesburg - The SA Council for Educators (Sace), which has imposed lifetime bans on 170 teachers nationally in the past two years for sexual offences, has called for the establishment of a single database of blacklisted teachers who have committed sex offences against pupils.

The council’s move follows a public outcry against the backdrop of the KwaZulu-Natal education department dismissing 12 teachers for sex offences against students, and the arrest of a life skills teacher in Nquthu over a video depicting him having sex with several students. This led to Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi warning schools around the province to be careful that the suspected teacher was not employed at any of its schools.

The council said sex crimes against pupils were grossly under-reported and a single database of all blacklisted teachers of both sex offenders and those caught with fraudulent qualifications should be set up throughout the country, and be accessible to all public- and private-sector schools, including tertiary institutions, to prevent offenders from moving between departments, provinces and institutions.

The regulatory body for the teaching profession said that it planned a major drive in the next few months to educate parents and pupils about their rights to ensure that rape and other sex crimes against pupils and students by teachers were reported and prosecuted.

Sace communications head Themba Ndhlovu told City Press this week that the council took action against sex offenders once their cases were brought to its attention. Sace then probed each case and imposed a lifetime blacklist on the culprits found guilty. Their identities were also being provided to the sexual offender’s database run by the department of social development.

Ndhlovu confirmed that during the 2013/14 financial year, at least 82 teachers were blacklisted, 11 of them in KwaZulu-Natal. During 2014/15, 88 teachers were banned for life around the country, 23 of whom were from KwaZulu-Natal.

“They will never be able to teach in this country again,” said Ndhlovu.

“There is a very low level of sexual misconduct being reported and, as a result, most offenders escape punishment. We will be meeting with the departments to look at how to raise awareness among parents and pupils so that this crime does not go unreported,” he said.

Scelo Khuzwayo, spokesperson for KwaZulu-Natal Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwana, told City Press they had asked Sace to blacklist the 12 teachers whose conviction had been confirmed by the department’s appeal tribunal.

“We are engaging Sace to ensure that they are removed from the system permanently. People who view pupils as girlfriends and prey upon them are not fit to teach. We want to take all possible measures to protect pupils and ensure that they are in a safe environment,” he said.

Read more on:    education  |  abuse

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