THE KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Education has distanced itself from the nomination and recognition of Umbusowabathethwa High School mathematics teacher Khangelani Sibiya.
Sibiya is being honoured and nominated in the Global Best Teacher Awards. He has been praised for his out-of-the-box maths teaching techniques as he imparts knowledge to his pupils .
Sibiya uses social trends, latest music, dance moves and sport to illustrate maths and science to his pupils.
However, the KZN Education Department in a statement issued on Thursday said the maths teacher allegedly had a sexual harassment complaint against him.
The KZN department said it had become aware of the nomination and recognition of Sibiya, popularly known as “Babes we Maths”, but wished to distance itself from the issue.
“The department wishes to confirm that Sibiya is currently suspended from his duties following allegations of sexual harassment against him. For this reason, the department distances itself from the international nomination and recognition of Mr Sibiya and does not support the nomination.”
Sibiya, who is also a deputy principal at the school, is nominated for the third time as the best teacher at the Global Best Teachers Awards that will take place next month.
It is alleged that the sexual harassment incident happened at the Mathematics Boot Camp last year. Sibiya was entrusted as one of the educators to tutor the learners.
The department further stated that the allegations against Sibiya were serious, especially in the light of the rising occurrences of gender-based violence, and related offences taking place in the country currently.
It is also alleged that Sibiya had claimed to have a doctorate. Upon verification, this was found to be untrue, according to the department.
“Based on the above, the department views this as unethical to have him nominated and recognised.To this end, we have also alerted the South African Council of Educators (SACE) for further investigation.
“The department remains committed to the protection of learners at all times,” it added.
According to the department, a disciplinary process is under way and the latest hearing took place only last week.