Head of Department of Education Sibusiso Nkosinathi Patrick Sishi. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Head of Department of Education Sibusiso Nkosinathi Patrick Sishi. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

SACE decries drop in foreigner teacher registration

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Dec 19, 2020

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Cape Town - The South African Council of Educators (SACE) has blamed rigorous verification between itself and the Home Affairs Department for the dramatic decrease in the number of foreign nationals who registered in the 2019-20 financial year.

This happened as SACE, which is mandated to maintain an updated register of all qualified educators, introduced online registration of teachers following a pilot procedure at seven universities where final year student teachers were invited to apply.

In the annual report recently tabled in Parliament, chairperson Mabutho Cele hailed the introduction of the SACE online registration system during the year under review.

“This was in alignment with the fourth Industrial revolution goals,” Cele said.

He also said the process of regulating the entry into the teaching profession through effective partnerships, including acquiring police clearance, was strengthened.

"The commencement of collaboration with South African Qualifications Authority will go a long way in protecting the status of the teaching qualifications. It will also assist to curb fraudulent qualifications in the profession which is in line with the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Act,“ Cele said.

Chief executive officer Ella Mapula Mokgalane said the council introduced online registration, that availed the registration service to educators seven days a week; 24 hours a day.

Mokgalane said they had aimed for 20 000 teachers during the five-year strategic plan period.

“Council has achieved this objective by providing registration to 31 769 new applicants and to 47 315 updating applicants.”

She said the council had processed 79 084 registration applications in terms of new registrations and updates from provisional to full registration status.

Mokgalane also said although the SACE had aimed to register 35 000 new applicants, only 31 769 (40%) were registered.

“From the 31 769 new registrations, only 3 472 (10.92%) qualified for registration under special conditional category. Also, 2 836 (8.92%) out of 31 769 were classified under the early childhood development category,” she said.

“Compulsory verification of all foreign national documents led to a decline in registration of foreign nationals because of the rigorous verification system between SACE and Department of Home Affairs,” she said.

Mokgalane said out of all 31769 registrations, 18 373 were processed in Gauteng. KwaZulu-Natal processed 8 898 applications and Free State processed the least number of applications, with 2 214 .

She also said they have noted a decline in the number of new foreign nationals applications processed between April 2019 and March 2020 with only 129 out of 31 769 as compared to 395 in 2018-2019.

“Out of 129 new foreign national applicants, only 34 (26.35%) were student teachers, while 95 (74%) were professionally qualified applicants,” Mokgalane said.

She also said all the 79 084 applicants had submitted their police clearance and 59 were found to have criminal records.

“Their police clearance certificate revealed that they committed different offences. These applicants were handed over to the legal and ethics division to advise and guide the process,” she said.

Mokgalane said cases of 29 applicants were recommended for registration after being assessed internally by SACE.

Thirty applicants’ cases were handed over to be adjudicated through the fit-to-teach committee.

Assault, theft and driving under the influence of alcohol were the common offences committed by the teachers.

Political Bureau

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