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Press Statement from the Media Briefing

2015/04/29

MEDIA RELEASE

 

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The South African Council for Educators (SACE)

29 APRIL 2015

SACE promotes the constitutional rights and safety of all residents of South Africa generally, and of teachers and learners in particular. It denounces victimization and attacks, wherever they occur. SACE, therefore, calls on all teachers, learners and residents to promote peace and inclusivity. It calls on the Government to manage migration prudently and progressively. It requests school communities to urgently report to SACE instances of victimization, harassment or discrimination involving teachers or learners.

As President of AFTRA (The African Forum of Teacher Regulatory Authorities), which, presently is made up of 14 African countries, I offer SACE’s apology and sympathy to the citizens of those countries that have suffered casualties in the recent spate of xenophobic violence that has bedevilled our land. We assure our African brothers and sisters that we shall do all in our power to eradicate this scourge. We are calling on our teachers, especially, to preach care, good neighbourliness and non-violence. We join political parties and civic organizations in the march against xenophobia.

The Council’s meeting in March wrapped up SACE’s business for the 2014/15 year and set priorities for the 2015/16 period.

Council registered 26 000 (approx.) educators for the year under review. Almost 50% received provisional registration. 1000 (approx.) foreign educators were registered. Electronic registration processes, categorization of the register and differentiation of certificates will be priorities for this year. Council has also agreed to initiate stringent vetting and verification processes to ensure that all teachers, new applicants and those in practice are of good standing and in possession of authentic qualifications. SACE invites the public to contact the office to check on the validity of the registration credentials of any teacher.

SACE maximized its vigilance regarding adherence to the Code of Ethics for Teachers. Of 700 (approx.) complaints received, 650 (approx.) were processed. 10 teachers were struck of the roll indefinitely (mainly for sexual offences against learners). Council also investigated schools where complaints were received regarding “selling of promotion posts”. To date, the investigations which have been completed in most parts of the country have not produced any evidence or witnesses that would enable SACE to prosecute cases against educators for dishonest practices regarding examinations. However some teachers are being followed up for other misdemeanours. The promotion system, it seems, may have to be strengthened to avoid manipulation and exploitation. Nevertheless, the public is implored to forward information alleging any unprofessional conduct of teachers to SACE. The Council has agreed to appoint full time investigators and to increase the number suitably qualified panellists so as to conclude cases speedily.

SACE requires all teachers up to the level of school Principals to engage in Continuing Professional Teacher Development (CPTD). All educators are expected to accumulate 150 CPTD points in 3-year cycles. The cycle for Principals and Deputies began last year, Heads of Departments (HODs) this year, and will begin for Secondary School Teachers next year and Primary School Teachers, the year after. Educators must engage in SACE approved programmes and activities. To date, SACE has approved 550 (approx.) providers and endorsed 1050 (approx.) programmes. The Council is paying special attention to inclusiveness, languages, maths and science teaching. It emphasizes attitudes and values consistent with the South African Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Council’s infrastructure has expanded to consist of:

  • 200 (approx.) staff members, SACE officers and officials;
  • Provincial offices in the Free State and Kwa-Zulu Natal in addition to the head office in Tshwane;
  • A research unit consisting of a pool of researchers;
  • A specialized Advocacy and Outreach Division; and
  • A R60m budget (including a R10m Departmental grant)

To deliver its mandates, in order to enhance teacher professionalism.

Media Contact                                                                            

Mr. Rej Brijraj

SACE CEO

Tel: 012 663 0410

Cell: 082 453 2971

Email: rej@sace.org.za

Mr Themba Ndhlovu

SACE Communications Manager

Tel:012 679 9717

Cell:071 606 331

Email:Thembinkosindhlovu@gmail.com/pr@sace.org.za

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