Prof Jace Pillay
SARCHI Chair: Education and Care in Childhood
Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg
Prof Pillay’s experiences in the last 30 years as a teacher, school counsellor, school psychologist, the Head of School Psychological Services, Head of Department for Educational Psychology and Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), shaped his academic career. Currently, he is the South African Research Chair in Education and Care in Childhood in the Faculty of Education at UJ.
In the first 5 years of his Chair he focused on the education and care of orphans and vulnerable children and it was in this period that he found a dire need for an investigation in child and youth mental health which negatively impacted on their psychological, social and educational well-being. This prompted the idea of developing a rapid analysis web-based Child and Youth Mental Health Profiling System which is the main focus of his second 5-year term. Aligned to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4.IR) the online mental health and academic assessments of children and youth provide substantial data on the different types of mental health problems experienced by them across age, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, various education districts and locations. The findings are used by multiple stakeholders across various disciplines and government sectors to improve the mental health, education and lives of children and youth in South Africa. Success of this Profiling System is likely to have global value.
Prof Pillay has published numerous peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters and he has an excellent track record of postgraduate supervision. He has mentored Postdoctoral Research Fellows across the African Continent who are making a positive impact in their respective countries. He has presented his research in numerous international conferences as a keynote or invited speaker. Prof Pillay has many prominent partnerships with international academics and over the years he has been awarded substantial research grants to support his research projects.