In welcoming the new employment regulations to deal with teacher misconduct which have been recently gazetted under the Employment of Educators Act by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, the IFP calls on the KZN MEC for Education, Kwazi Mshengu to ensure that these new guidelines are adhered to in KwaZulu-Natal.
We believe this is a step in the right direction because in 2020 the South African Council of Educators (SACE) ranked KwaZulu-Natal as the province with the highest number of sexual misconduct cases by teachers, followed by Gauteng.
The IFP has on numerous occasions emphasized that such offenders have no place in the education profession. They must be named, shamed and banned for the rest of their lives from the teaching profession.
The Gazette has made it clear that any person who has been found guilty of sexual offences committed against children and mentally disabled people and whose name appear on the National Child Protection Register and the National Register of Sex Offenders, cannot be employed unless their names have been removed from such registers.
In addition, it also stated that teachers who committed an act of sexual assault against a pupil, or another employee, or have a sexual relationship with a pupil of the school would face an indefinite ban.
The IFP welcomes these steps and would like to see such action taken in our province. Such predators must be made an example of. We strongly believe that teachers should lead by example by being professional and nurturing to children in schools at all times. Children should feel safe and protected in the presence of teachers.
The IFP calls upon the KZN MEC for Education, Kwazi Mshengu and his team to ensure that these new regulations are adhered to across the province. It must be made mandatory that during the shortlisting and interview processes all applicants for teaching or promotion posts must be checked to ascertain whether their names appear in the Sex Offenders Register before employing them. If their names are in the Register, they must not be offered employment as it would be a violation of legislation such as the Child Protection Act.
The IFP calls for zero-tolerance approach in this regard.
Mrs Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa MPL
IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Education
079 114 3015