NATION

Teachers’ Postgraduate Degree Choices a Concern

  The need for teachers to pursue a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), as a postgraduate degree is being questioned by the Ministry of Education. The Minister, Mahendra Reddy, said
16 Oct 2015 10:02

 

The need for teachers to pursue a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), as a postgraduate degree is being questioned by the Ministry of Education.

The Minister, Mahendra Reddy, said they wanted teachers to be subject matter specialists, rather than just pursuing an MBA just for the sake of it.

“If the head of department (HOD) in science wants to have higher qualification than a Bachelor of Science (BSC) then it should be Masters in Science (MSC) and not a MBA,” he said.

He said MBA’s were not for teachers and academics, but for chief executive officers and business leaders.

The minister clarified that a circular recently released by the ministry was about the courses that teachers should refrain from pursuing and it was not meant for the general public.

The circular, released by Acting Permanent Secretary for Education, Kelera Taloga, earlier this week, stated the education ministry would no longer be recognising selected education qualifications offered by the University of the South Pacific and University of Fiji.

These are the Masters in Educational Leadership, Masters in Teaching, and Doctor of Education from the UniFiji, Masters in Education by course work from the USP, and the MBA from both the USP and UniFiji.

Mr Reddy also raised concerns about the quality of programmes offered by some universities.

“We are concerned about the quality of some of the programmes offered by our universities and before employers and other countries stop recognising our qualifications, I want to immediately intervene and take action,” Mr Reddy said.

“It’s better to act now before it’s too late and we start losing the brand name of our well-established universities or employers stop staking graduates from these universitys.”

He said one of the UniFiji’s qualifications had serious flaws in it.

“This step that I have taken will force them to step back and fix those shortfalls as outlined in the circular.”

The UniFiji is yet to respond to Mr Reddy’s comments. Questions emailed to their communications officer remain unanswered.

Mr Reddy said one of the universities was admitting students into their Masters programme without an undergraduate degree.

“They are now providing Doctor of Education without proper staffing and also without ensuring that the students have proper theoretical grounding,” Mr Reddy said.

“This will create major problems in the labour market as well because while these graduates are not of standard, they will demand higher pay because they have the paper qualification.

“I have no choice but to fix this anomaly.”

The University of the South Pacific in a statement said the programmes offered by them was of the highest standard and the MBA programme is recognised by the Fiji Higher Education Commission and internationally accredited under the Association for MBAs (AMBA) based in London.

“The programme referred to by the Ministry of Education, (Masters of Education by coursework) allows primary and secondary school teachers to choose relevant related courses that are useful for their practice.”

farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 



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