The Council for Educators
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the World.
This is one of Nelson Mandela’s more famous statements, made during the occasion of the launch of ‘Mindset Network’, at the Johannesburg Planetarium on 16 July 2003.1 Mr Mandela also stated:
South Africa inherited a highly dysfunctional educational system from the Apartheid era. It is one of our major tasks of reconstruction to build an educational system that provides quality opportunities for all our people. It is fundamentally important that our children are prepared to compete with confidence in the international arena. We need to ensure that every one of our children has access to a world class, quality education. And the teaching of maths, science and English is a major national priority, as more of our children need to excel in these subjects.2
In a way, this is what the South African Council for Educators Act 2000 is aimed at. Through the functions of this Council, the Act provides for the registration of educators, promoting the professional development of educators, and the maintenance and protection of ethical and professional standards for educators. It is administered by the Minister of Basic Education.
One of the functions of the Council is, via its Disciplinary Committee, to investigate complaints against educators, and, if necessary, hold disciplinary hearings. Any person who may be able to give information of material importance concerning the subject of the investigation can be summoned to give evidence, and to produce books, documents or objects which may have a bearing on the matter.
If you have been summoned, you commit an offence if:
- you fail to attend the hearing;3
- you fail to remain in attendance until excused by the hearing panel;4
- you refuse to be sworn in, or make an affirmation as a witness;5
- you fail to answer, fully and satisfactorily, any lawful question;6
- you fail to produce any book, document or thing in your possession or under your control which you were required to produce.7