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Row Over QVS Head

Row Over QVS Head
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy.
July 08
09:43 2015

The row over Queen Victoria School principal Silivio Tawake highlights the “shambles” in most schools, says Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Mahendra Reddy.

He had ordered Mr Tawake to be transferred recently but the Queen Victoria School Old Boys Association approached him in the eleventh hour to reconsider the ruling.

Mr Reddy said: “He has been given a grace period, until December, to improve.”

He said one of the issues Mr Tawake had to deal with was students being bullied and no action being taken. As a result parents had pulled out their children, he said.

He said he was disappointed that head teachers and principals were not performing up to the level that the ministry wanted.

He said the performance in some schools was in shambles.

“The performance of a school depends largely on the Heads of School, the head teachers and principals,” he said.

Mr Reddy said they carried out an audit of the schools last year and what really stood out was the poor leadership of the school heads.

He said the audit team, visited a large school in Nausori with the most building grant from the ministry and found out the classrooms were in very bad shape.

“Where did the money go to?” he asked.

This, he said, was poor management on the part of the school head.

“What we are working on now is to fix the school leaders.”

QVSOB president Anasa Vocea confirmed that they went to see Mr Reddy. Mr Vocea said a parent had complained to Mr Reddy.

The transfer decision, he said, was made without the knowledge of the QVSOB and other parents.

He said he told Mr Reddy that they had just built up their good relationship with the principal and they wanted to maintain that. A representative of the parents and teachers association was also present at the meeting and defended the principal’s record in the last six months.

Mr Reddy reminded Mr Vocea and his team not to condone teachers who did not reach required standards.

Mr Vocea asked Mr Reddy if the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) and the QVSOB could be consulted if an investigation into the allegations against a teacher was carried out.

In this particlar case, he said they were totally in the dark and that was why they had to rush to see him in the west. Mr Tawake could not be reached to comment yesterday.





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