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Govt Committed to Professional Development of Teachers: A-G

Govt Committed to Professional Development of Teachers: A-G
From left: Electoral Commission Chairperson Suresh Chandra, Attorney-General and Minister of Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem look through the copies of the student workbooks and replica ballot papers which were handed over to the Ministry of Education on January 11, 2018 to distribution to all Year 10 students. Photo: Fijian Elections Office.
January 12
11:00 2018

The results of a recent test sat by applicants vying for teaching vacancies will help Government identify areas that need professional development, says Attorney-General and Minister for Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

The test, in which an English proficiency exam was included, had four more categories covering qualifications, experience, knowledge of contemporary teaching and learning strategies.

There were 3250 applicants, of which 50 per cent failed the English proficiency test.

At a press conference in Suva yesterday the Attorney-General said the results of the test would make it easier for Government to determine areas that required funding for professional development

He said teachers should not to be crucified because of the results.

“We want to give full assurance to our teachers that we are committed to your professional development and will invest in programmes that will support you in educating young Fijians,” he said.

“The main purpose of the assessment was to provide benchmark data to help measure the effectiveness of professional development programmes that will be carried out throughout the year.”

Applicants who failed to cross the threshold or appear in the first test will get a chance on January 13 to sit for a second exam.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said applicants, who successfully met the baseline proficiency requirements would get appointed in term one of the school year.

Contracts and offer letters will be sent by January 19 to successful appointees.

Teachers can collect their offer letters from their various divisional offices around the country and no longer have to come to Marela House in Suva.

The 2018 school year will open on Monday (Jan 15). Teachers and students can expect disturbances in classes for the first week of the term because the ministry is racing to finalise appointments.

The exam results, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, would also aid Government in making appointments based on merit, which had been the central theme of the recently initiated controversial Civil Service Reform.

The reforms will also seriously look at the transfer policy for teaching staff, targeting for greater procedural transparency.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also sought to pacify parents who expressed shock at the result that was revealed on Monday by Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary, Iowane Tiko.

“We also want to give every assurance to parents of our students that the ministry is fully committed to appointing qualified and capable teachers,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added.

“We will also make all appointments, transfers and promotions in a transparent fashion and on the basis of merit and merit alone. The assessments were also carried to ensure that all teaching applicants make baseline proficiency requirements prior to being appointed.”

Government, in a move to make teachers more tech savvy, will encourage them on the use of dedicated email and other more modern forms of communications.

Edited by Percy Kean

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