education blackboard thumb medium80 92TimesLive reports that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has not screened a single new teacher, principal or official against the National Sexual Offenders' Register to see if they have been convicted of sexually harming a child.  

According to the DBE it does not employ teachers and it is the job of provincial education departments to screen new teachers.  Three provincial education departments have, however, confirmed they did not use the offender register, which is run by the Justice Department, to screen teachers, with one citing its inaccessibility as a reason.  The register can be accessed through a request to the registrar by any employer, including NGOs and churches, wanting to hire staff who will work with children.  The register, which came into effect in 2015, is to ensure that no one convicted of sexually assaulting a child is employed in a position in which he or she will be supervising children.  It is against the law not to screen staff for sexual offences, which the DBE has acknowledged.  Basil Manuel of the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA (Naptosa) commented: "I can tell you that they do not access the register."


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