Sex teachers named on list
TEACHERS found to be sexual offenders should be rooted out of the system and never be allowed to work in the public service ever, educational organisations say.
This comes after the launch of the database exposing and blacklisting school teachers who are convicted of harassing or having sex with their pupils.
The South African Council of Educators (Sace) yesterday launched the "query educator professional standing" page on its website, which can be used to check teachers' records.
So far the database lists 75 blacklisted teachers who have been struck off the country's teachers' roll for offences such as sexual harassment, rape and assault.
But the National Association of Parents in School Governance, though commending Sace for the initiative, says blacklisting is not punishment enough considering the extent of the problem.
"They should be rooted out of the system completely and not be allowed to work for any other public sector in this country. In fact, they should stand before court, be prosecuted and sentenced to jail," said spokesperson Mahlomula Kekana.
Kekana said the 75 listings are just a drop in the ocean. There are more culprits who remain uncaught.
"School governing bodies should do more than monitor school funds and create a platform where learners can talk about what happens at schools. Some learners do not report abuse because they fear victimisation," he said.
In KwaZulu-Natal five teachers from Makhumbuza High School in Umlazi are currently on suspension after allegedly having sex with pupils as young as 15 in the school laboratory in exchange for money and alcohol. If found guilty they will be registered on the database and blacklisted.
The South African Democratic Union has expressed support for the action, as long as it is done legally.
Acting general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said: "Our understanding is that only the employee number will be put up on the website and no details of the offence or personal details of the teacher.
"Those interested in knowing more, especially in a case where the person is seeking employment, will have to contact Sace to get the full details."
Sace information technology manager Kriya Govender yesterday could not say how many people had already consulted the list on the website.
The website can be reached at www.sace.org.za, click on "Query Educator Professional Standing" on the left, enter the teacher's identity number and determine if the teacher has been struck off the roll.