The South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu) has slammed as humiliating the North West provincial education department's insistence on head-count verification of teachers.
"We think this is a brutal assault on teacher professionalism," said Sadtu provincial secretary Brian Setswambung.
"Why should it take signatures of pupils to authenticate the existence of teachers in the system?"
In a statement released yesterday Sadtu said before teachers received their salary cheques this month they will be expected to submit a data verification form, identity document, matric certificate and tertiary qualification certificate.
"The data verification form ... has to be signed by a member of the learner representative council (in secondary schools)," it said.
The department wanted to use the process to address other administrative shortfalls in the system, Setswambung said.
Sadtu provincial chairman Mxolisi Bomvana said teachers trying to collect their salaries faced endless queues and having their photographs and fingerprints taken.
"To us this is totally unacceptable," he said.
Sadtu said the department had ignored its request to make arrangements to give salary cheques to teachers at schools and to do the head count district by district over a period of four months.
The North West education department was not immediately available for comment. - Sapa