When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!
Switzerland

Zurich Experiments With 'Black List' To Add Security To Teacher Hiring

A new system is being used in Zurich to avoid potentially dangerous teachers from being hired which aims to keep certain profiles permanently barred from the profession.

Keeping classrooms and hallways safe (Wootang01)
Keeping classrooms and hallways safe (Wootang01)

*NEWSBITES

ZURICH - For the first time, Zurich's Department of Education has checked a "black list" to see if the names of any of its new teachers are on it. Though none were, the existence of this list that alerts schools to those considered unfit to teach -- including both convicted child abusers, ordinary criminals and consistently difficult employees -- has raised questions in Switzerland.

The first check in Zurich was carried out at the beginning of this school year on an experimental basis by the Bern-based national Swiss Conference of Cantonal Departments of Education. Routinely checked are teachers whose CVs show lapses in job continuity, said Zurich school board chief Martin Wendelspiess. "If there are ‘holes' in the CV, and the candidate says something like they spent two years learning yoga in India, we check to try and establish if that's true or if it's covering something up."

Wendelspiess added that education authorities were routinely informed by the national conference if criminal proceedings for child abuse were opened against a teacher. But alleged sexual abusers are not the only ones on the list – the name of any teacher convicted in court, or who repeatedly shirks duties and violates acceptable professional conduct, will be placed on the list which bans them from teaching.

Most of the banned teachers were involved in the sexual abuse of children, although one was banned for blackmail.

Blacklisted teachers have the possibility after a few years to apply for reinstatement, though that happens seldom in practice since most banned teachers go on to pursue careers in other areas.

There are presently 32 Zurich teachers on the national black list. Names are removed from the list when people reach retirement age or if they are reinstated.

Read the full story in German by Lucienne-Camille Vaudan

Photo - Wootang01

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Migrant Lives

When Migrants Vanish: Families Quietly Endure Uncertainty

Zimbabweans cling to hope even after years of silence from loved ones who have disappeared across borders.

illustration of a woman in nature contemplating a framed picture of an older woman
Illustration by Matt Haney, GPJ

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Blessing Tichagwa can barely remember her mother. Like hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, Noma Muyambo emigrated to South Africa in search of work, leaving baby Blessing, now 15, behind with her grandmother.

The last time they saw her was nine years ago, when Blessing was 6. Muyambo returned for one week, then left again — and has not sent any messages or money since.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest