The South African Council of Educators (SACE) hosted their inaugural Teacher Development Conference in Gauteng last week. The theme of the conference was “Teaching profession in our hands, our voices and plight matter”.
The conference brought together teachers from around the country to share their experiences and concerns related to challenges currently facing those in the teaching profession.
By taking charge of their profession and making their voices heard, teachers can drive discussions and solutions that advance the profession
SACE CEO Ella Mokgalane said teachers were excited about the conference with stakeholders as it allowed them to raise their concerns and ensure their voices are heard.
Teachers are excited because as a collective in one room, they are able to raise their voices and be able to say to ourselves in council, but also to the Minister of basic education, these are the issues that are affecting us in the schools at the core phase of the teaching profession
Mokgalane says teachers are extremely concerned about the increase in violence against them. This prompted teachers to approach SACE to call for a policy to be introduced to ensure teachers are protected from violent acts.
Mokgalane says it is important for teachers to adhere to the ethical standards of the teaching profession. This comes just weeks after it was revealed that hundreds of sexual misconduct cases were reported to SACE during the past three financial years.
More than 450 cases of sexual misconduct were reported to the council between the 2019/2020 financial year and the 2021/2022 financial year. Of the sexual misconduct cases reported to the department, 43 teachers were found guilty of sexual abuse and 35 teachers were struck off the role indefinitely.
SACE aims to enhance the status of the teaching profession through the appropriate registration of all teachers and provide a code of ethics.
They are also responsible for monitoring and managing the Continuous Professional Teacher Development (CPTD) system.
They endorse professional development programmes, and activities and approve professional development providers as part of its quality management function.