The New LoveLife Trust (loveLife) says it welcomes the decision by the South African Council for Educators (Sace) to indefinitely strike sex-offending educators off the roll for alleged sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment of learners and having sexual relations with their learners.
Early this year, the Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga revealed that 191 cases of sexual misconduct were reported to Sace and four teachers were struck off the roll.
This week, the Education Labour Relations Council revealed that 30 teachers have been fired since April for sexual misconduct and will soon be registered with the National Child Protection Register and barred from ever working with children again.
LoveLife spokesperson and Gauteng provincial manager Thilivhali Livhadi has indicated that the decision to deal with sex offenders bodes well for millions of learners who are forced to spend time in the midst of known sex offenders.
Livhadi said LoveLife welcomes the dismissal of educators found guilty of various offences. “The organisation further calls for strict adherence to the National Child Protection Register so that such sex pest educators should never be allowed near learners again,” Livhadi said on Wednesday.
According to LoveLife, teachers are supposed to protect and nurture young people and not sexually molest them.
“Educators across thousands of South African schools are entrusted with the primary responsibility of educating learners in the many hours they spend with them. They should never abuse learners, particularly those in their care.
“The announcement by the Education Labour Relations Council (ELRC) that 30 educators have been fired since April is a welcomed development, yet a disappointing one, as we continue to see sex pest educators being exposed to learners, who mostly go to school to get the much-needed education.
“As posited by the ELRC, learners are exposed to appalling crimes and behaviour such as sexual assault, sharing pornographic material, assault, unwelcome behaviour, poor performance, dishonesty, and theft – among some of the charges mentioned by the ELRC,” Livhadi said.
Livhadi said the latest developments come hot on the heels of a recent report which has put the number of de-registered educators for sexual offences at 31.
“LoveLife is alarmed by the high number of misconduct cases, showing that there needs to be stringent methods in hiring the right calibre of educators who would be fit for purpose and competent in ensuring that learners are safe and not sexually exploited or abused.
“It cannot be business as usual when many educators are dismissed for these harrowing offences. This is a demonstration that scourges such as sexual violation, and violence are more prevalent than before and that there are still numerous perverted educators out there targeting learners,” Livhadi said.