NEWS

Response from Acting Minister for Education To The Methodist Church

The following statement is from the Attorney-General, Acting Prime Minister and Acting Minister For Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum: It is not constitutionally possible to accede to the request from the Methodist
19 Aug 2017 11:00
Response from Acting Minister for Education To The Methodist Church
Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum
  • The following statement is from the Attorney-General, Acting Prime Minister and Acting Minister For Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum:

It is not constitutionally possible to accede to the request from the Methodist Church in Fiji for all principals and head teachers in schools run by the church to be members of the Methodist Church.  The same applies to any religious organisation that has established and manages primary or secondary schools throughout Fiji.

The Fijian Constitution (section 22(4)) expressly states that every religious community or denomination and every cultural or social community has the right to establish, maintain and manage education institutions, however, no such community has the right to dictate who should be appointed as a principal, head teacher or teacher.

It is in the best interest of our students, first and foremost, to have the most qualified head of school in place to ensure the delivery of the most effective learning environment. It is also in the best interests of teachers and of the educational institution to appoint the most qualified head of school available.

Teachers, head teachers and principals are all civil servants with salaries financed by every Fijian taxpayer.

As mandated in Sections 123 and 127 of the Constitution, recruitment and promotion within the Fijian civil service are based solely on merit.

Government will not allow for discrimination on the grounds of religious adherence as it is contrary to our supreme law, the Fijian Constitution.

The appointments and promotions of all civil servants, including teachers, will continue to be made following an open, transparent and competitive selection process based on their qualifications and experience.

Government deeply appreciates the commitment from our religious communities and denominations that establish and maintain education institutions in Fiji.

As stated in Section 22(4) of the Constitution, religious communities and denominations have a right to provide religious instruction at those institutions, and students have a right not to participate if they choose to do so.

The Fijian Government is mandated by the Constitution to realise the right of every Fijian to free early childhood, primary and secondary education.

As part of the commitment to meet that mandate, Government introduced the free education scheme, free textbooks initiative and free bus fares for travelling students, and recruits teachers, principals and head teachers solely on the basis of merit to put the most qualified people possible in schools throughout the country.

These initiatives and policies have, together, led to a remarkable increase in access to high-quality education in Fiji.

Source: DEPTFO News

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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