Teachers caught teaching with fake qualifications should leave the profession “immediately”, as the SA Council for Educators (SACE) will deregister such teachers and report them to relevant authorities.
“We won’t only deregister them but also report them to the relevant people. Teaching with fraudulent qualifications is a criminal offence. School managers and employers are urged to contact SACE if there is doubt of any educator’s qualification,” SACE CEO Rej Brijraj said in Centurion yesterday.
The council was reviewing more than 20 cases of educators teaching with fraudulent qualifications, most of which were allegedly obtained from University of Zululand, Unisa and the North West University.
Brijraj said the council had formed a team with University of Zululand in the interim to verify qualifications while personally checking educators in independent and private schools.
“Those on the list are facing criminal charges opened by Unizulu. Strides are being made to find watertight process so as to ensure fraudulent qualifications are easily identified. The council is now working together with universities, education departments and South African Qualifications Authority to ensure that all qualifications of all teachers are authentic.”
A Limpopo schoolteacher was under investigation after she allegedly taught for more than two decades with fake qualifications. Her case was being monitored by SACE, as there was paper trail from the department of basic education officials dating back to 2006.
“We have picked up that after all those years, the education department has been trying to get her struck off the roll of educators. We verified that her qualifications are false, and the council has made a ruling to remove her.”
The said educator attempted to resign, but her resignation was held until the case was concluded. A case of fraud would also be opened with police, Brijraj said.
“We have teachers that have gone to jail for fraudulent qualifications. It is the role of the employer to check if a teacher has legal qualifications.”
In the past two years, 33 teachers were struck off from the roll of educators indefinitely and their names forwarded to the department of social development to be included on the register of persons declared unfit to work with children.
The 33 were charged with various offences such as sexual relationship with a learner, impregnation of a learner, sexual assault, examination irregularities, indecent assault, rape, statutory rape and selling drugs to learners.
From April to 10 November this year, a total of 50 sexual abuse cases and 140 cases of corporal punishment of learners were under review.