28 August 1998

The Employment of Educators Bill

The Minister of Education assessed the historic problems around the employment of teachers concisely and with the Employment of Educators Bill took a major step towards regulating and stabilising the teaching profession. The Bill clarifies the various crises, conflicts and tensions that became inherently part of the Apartheid education system, and reflects a consensus that has been built by all the role players. It provides the basis for resolving the crisis points that emerged in the process of transforming the education system and redressing the inequalities inherited from Apartheid. It further affirms the role of school governing bodies in the appointment of teachers.

What do we achieve with this Bill?

The Bill gives remarkable clarity on the roles, functions and relationships of all the stakeholders in the education sector by explaining:

Building on the Good Work of the ANC

Existing legislation has certain weaknesses which the Bill will address. It provides clear guidelines for:

Making Cooperative Governance a Reality

Teachers unions were traditionally seen by the Apartheid state as groups of communists who were simply too lazy to teach and were intent on subverting the internal stability of the country. The new democratic Government not only rectified this misconception, but also recognised the need for unions to participate in policy making, the right to represent the needs of teachers and inform their members and their communities about their role in a democracy. The ANC understands the frustrations of workers, because it is a workers-led movement and workers are a part of it.

The South African Council of Educators (SACE)

The Bill makes the SACE a legal, professional body for educators. All educators employed by the State must now be registered with the SACE. The powers of the Council include taking disciplinary measures against teachers who are guilty of professional misconduct. It may also strike teachers from its register - in the same way that the Medical Council scraps doctors from its roll. Another step towards making teaching professional.

Key Political Messages