Picture: Wokandapix/Pixabay

Cape Town - The South African Council of Educators (Sace) has found up to 65 teachers guilty of still using corporal punishment to discipline pupils at schools.

This was revealed by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga in a written response to a parliamentary question by DA MP Nomsa Marchesi.

Marchesi had inquired about teachers who used corporal punishment to enforce discipline in the classroom in the past three school years - this despite the practice being outlawed in 1997.

Among other things, Marchesi sought to establish if any action had been taken against the teachers and whether the provincial departments of education were providing professional development training to teachers on how to discipline pupils without using corporal punishment.

In a written response, Motshekga said that up to 229 teachers had received advisory letters for using corporal punishment from the Sace disciplinary tribunal in 2016/17.

She said that 233 advisory letters were issued between 2017/18 and 194 letters in the 2018/19 financial year.

“Advisory letters are letters that are forwarded to an accused educator at the discretion of the council, instead of proceeding with a disciplinary hearing against such an educator. These letters are issued in cases of corporal punishment,” Motshekga said.

“Once an advisory letter is issued by the Sace and ratified by the ethics committee, the file is closed with the proviso that the educator does not repeat the misconduct.

“Should the educator repeat the misconduct, disciplinary proceedings are instituted and the file with the advisory letter is reinstated and the teacher is prosecuted.”

Motshekga highlighted that sanctions were imposed on 64 teachers for removing their names on the educators’ roll.

She explained that their names were, however, reinstated on condition that the educators in question were not found guilty of misconduct during the period of suspension.

“The educators were further given fines to be paid over different time frames, but not exceeding 12 months.”

Motshekga said some teachers’ names were removed from the roll owing to the severe injuries inflicted on learners.

Political Bureau