ACCOUNTABILITY AT THE HEART OF TRUST
Update by Lindiwe Karosa
Social media has been abuzz with citizens’ direct questions to the Department of Basic Education on how celebrity Mohale Motaung-Mhlongo was chosen to teach Grade 11 English on the online learning platform: STEM Lockdown Digital School.
Africa Teen Geeks had released a statement yesterday stating that the reality TV star was a student teacher and that they were in possession of his proof of registration. The organization stated that it would be happy to share this documentation with any interested parties to substantiate that claim.
Motaung-Mhlongo was interviewed by IOL.com on 10 April 2020 regarding the role he would be playing in the STEM Lockdown Digital School. In this interview Mohale describes his passion for education, but explicitly states that he had not pursued teaching as a career. Although he is not a qualified teacher, he shares that he was only trained on how to use the system and handed the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement to read through. Read interview here:
The Department of Basic Education has also released a statement in which it has now altered the initial requirements and now states that the criteria for selection was qualified teachers or people who have just been trained to teach. It is still unclear to us what formal training the “student teachers” have undergone, after establishing that their professions and/or qualifications are unrelated to teaching.
We decided to pursue Africa Teen Geeks on the discrepancies we’ve established. They’ve responded by saying they never stated that Mohale is studying a Bachelor of Education but together with the Department of Basic Education, insist on referring to him as a student teacher. We are expecting formal communication from the organisation addressing the concerns we’ve raised.
This is a developing story.