Website drama almost cost SA teachers in Taiwan their jobs
South African teachers in Taiwan who graduated from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday after an impasse that had them worried about their jobs on the island.
Education authorities in Taiwan raised concerns about CPUT not appearing on a list of universities on the official South African Department of Basic Education (DBE) website. The institution does appear on other sites listing universities‚ including the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) but the sites were either flagged as being not secure or not ending in “.gov”.
Paul Andre and a group of other teachers alerted the DBE to the problem‚ raising concerns that some teachers work permits would not be renewed.
“Due to the fact that we are not being listed‚ all CPUT qualified teachers in Taiwan‚ Asia‚ will be unemployed because the Ministry of Education recognises only the universities mentioned on that (DBE) list‚” he said in an email to the DBE.
DHET deputy director-general of university education‚ Diane Parker‚ wrote back saying: “This is clearly an error on the DBE website – we will follow up and ensure it is corrected. Please note that DBE is not the official education site for higher education.
“CPUT an institution named on our website. www.dhet.gov.za; the DHET is responsible for all higher education in South Africa. We will also provide an official letter indicating that it it’s a recognised accredited institution if that is required.”
Frank Shih‚ an official at the Taipei Liaison Office in Cape Town told TimesLIVE that the DBE list was the one that was recognised. He said listings of accredited universities using the “.co.za” domain were not regarded as with the same weight as those ending in “.gov”.
The DBE website was updated with CPUT’s details by Wednesday‚ and the DHET wrote a letter which teachers could submit to officials in Taiwan‚ dated Monday‚ confirming that CPUT was recognised as a “public higher education institution”.