Body plans to put teachers names in gallery of rogues
MATTHEW SAVIDES and NOMAHLUBI JORDAAN | 2017-01-26 07:11:29.0
An empty classroom. File photo.
Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock
South Africa’s teacher oversight body is pressing ahead with a plan to name and shame teachers guilty of misconduct, including those who beat children.
Themba Ndlhovu, SA Council of Educators spokesman, said: “Council is seeking legal advice on publishing names of teachers found guilty of misconduct. “All cases are dealt with on their merit. However, we believe stronger sanctions need to apply to serve as a deterrent.”
He said the council intended to have its own publication in which teachers’ names would be published. “We were advised that we need to follow certain steps. We will be advised by our legal team on how to do this,” Ndlhovu said.
The move comes as horrific cases of abuse at school continue to emerge.
A six-year-old was beaten by his teacher with a chalkboard duster in North West, while a teenager in Mpumalanga was assaulted by a teacher so badly he is now in a wheelchair.
In Kimberley, a teacher who impregnated one of his pupils is now being considered as principal at the same school.
Sace’s latest annual report records that between April 2015 and March last year there were 593 cases against teachers, down from 869 cases the previous year.
These included 267 reported cases of corporal punishment, 97 of sexual misconduct, 95 of unprofessional conduct, harassment 89, theft 40, negligence 10 and two of racism.
Ndlhovu attributed the rise in the number of corporal punishment cases to a “sharp decline” in discipline in schools.
“That cannot serve as an excuse since all teachers are aware that it is illegal to administer corporal punishment,” he said.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Patrick Lenta said that teachers were simply disobeying the law, mainly because they were unlikely to face sanction.
“When it comes to corporal punishment my view is that it’s been illegal for 20 years, so if teachers don’t know this they are culpably ignorant. The problem is that a lot of parents, particularly in rural areas, approve of it, so teachers know they can get away with it.”