31 educators implicated in sexual offences struck off teachers’ roll: Youth NGO welcomes the move

New LoveLife Trust has welcomed 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.

The New loveLife Trust, also known as “LoveLife”, is a non-profit youth organisation  established as a joint initiative of leading non-governmental organisations, private foundations and the South African government.

Earlier this week the Education Labour Relations Council revealed that 30 teachers have been fired since April for sexual misconduct and would soon be registered with the National Child Protection Register and barred from ever teaching children again.

LoveLife spokesperson and Gauteng provincial manager Thilivhali Livhadi said the decision to deal with sex offenders would significantly improve the lives of millions of learners who are forced to spend time in the midst of known sex offenders.

“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.

Livhadi said learners were exposed to appalling crimes and behaviour such as sexual assault, sharing pornographic material, assault, unwelcome behaviour, poor performance, dishonesty and theft.

“LoveLife is alarmed by the high number of misconduct cases, showing that there needs to be stringent methods in hiring the right caliber of educators who would be fit for purpose and competent in ensuring that learners are safe and not sexually exploited or abused,” Livhadi said.

In addition, professional teachers’ body, the SA Council for Educators, has also struck 31 members from its register, with the council’s spokesperson Cindy Foca confirming that the council appointed independent arbitrators to preside over cases which involved cases of sexual assault at schools.

Foca said that once a perpetrator was found guilty, they would be reported to the department of social development and effectively barred from working with children again.

The National Child Protection Register is a register maintained by the Director General in terms of section 111 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005, consisting of a part A and a part B.

Prospective employers offering services which allow for access to children must establish from the registrar whether or not the potential employee’s name was listed on part B of the register.

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