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Teachers welfare tops agenda at FTU conference

Teachers welfare tops agenda at FTU conference
August 14
14:14 2018

Problems that teachers encounter will be a highlight during the Fiji Teachers Union (FTU) 88th Annual Conference, which starts today at Swami Vivekananda College auditorium, Nadi.

FTU general secretary Agni Deo Singh said a lot of issues relating to the education system in Fiji would be discussed at the conference.

The theme for this year’s convention is ‘Rethinking and Revisiting Education for Sustainable Development’.

Mr Singh said that a lot of consideration had been made before arriving at this theme.

“As FTU, we are of the belief that education right now needs rethinking in terms of development, implementation, monitoring and review of policies,” He said.

“Because what we know is that a lot of reforms are being borrowed from outside and directly imposed without considering the local needs.”

Mr Singh said that one of the examples of policies implemented could be the Open Merit Based Recruitment (OMRS) Guidelines, which was still being used on a trial and error basis.

“We believe it has been a failure and it seems that it is being used on a trial and error basis because the process is being reviewed and changed as it is being implemented,” he said.

Another issue to be discussed will be the contracts and the demotions of school heads.

“Of those who been promoted through the ministries own process earlier on as a result of the job evaluation exercise, have totally demoralised the teaching service,” said Mr Singh.

Mr Singh said teachers were not being provided the opportunity to seek redress should their contracts be terminated.

“The profession has now been casualised with contracts that empower the permanent secretary to terminate teachers at a months’ notice with the teacher having no opportunity to seek redress,” said Mr Singh.

“There are several other matters of equal concern that will be deliberated upon and a mandate sought for the executive to take appropriate action.”

When contacted regarding the issues highlighted the Permanent Secretary for Education, Alison Burchell she said that she would respond after discussing the issues with her colleagues.

The conference will be held at the Swami Vivekananda College Auditorium, Nadi from the August 14th-17th, 2018.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: yogesh.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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