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Reconstruction Of Teachers Quarters Will Be Completed On Time, Says Ministry

The reconstruction of teachers quarters in the outer islands will be completed on time, says the Ministry of Education. The Permanent Secretary for Education, Iowane Tiko, revealed this after the
10 Jan 2018 10:45
Reconstruction Of Teachers Quarters Will Be Completed On Time, Says Ministry
New teachers ( from left) Josivini Davokoto,Orisi Vosuqa,Farasiko Iowane,Adi Fane Komaiwai,Venasio Mua, Avelina Tunamasi in Suva on January 9 , 2018 ready for their new posting. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau.

The reconstruction of teachers quarters in the outer islands will be completed on time, says the Ministry of Education.

The Permanent Secretary for Education, Iowane Tiko, revealed this after the Fiji Sun sent him questions asking as to how soon they would provide shelter for teachers posted to islands affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston. However, he also said some teachers might face challenges and would be provided temporary shelters.

Mr Tiko confirmed that about 12 per cent of teachers posted from the 253 positions could be facing challenges and issues concerning teachers’ quarters.

“This is about 30 teachers. However, the school committees have prepared temporary shelters that were used by previous teachers,” he said.

“These are adequate temporary shelters worth living in for now. The ministry is monitoring the progress of all reconstruction works hoping that contractors would honor their memorandum of understanding and complete work on time.”

Mr Tiko said teachers were entitled to their normal rural allowances provided for within the General Orders of Government when posted to the outer islands.

“They are aware of their school situations and all have agreed as they see the challenges as part of their calling to the teaching service for the nation that is still rebuilding after the experiences of Winston.”

Free education grants

Mr Tiko said there were at least 15 to 20 schools whose Free Education Grants (FEG) were still centralised at the Ministry of Education’s headquarters.

Mr Tiko said most of these schools had finalised and submitted their annual reports for the financial year 2017 and the reports were still being sent to the ministry.

He said reports were not only required to be discussed in the school annual general meetings and passed, but they were required to be audited by a qualified person authorised to do school auditing.

“School heads who have abused the FEG for schools have been investigated and cases of serious abuse whereby recovery cannot be done on surcharge; we have reported them to FICAC (Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption) for investigation.”

As for schools that the ministry could surcharge have been done and their grants centralised to assure the management that the grants were kept safely at the ministry’s headquarters.

Weet-Bix and free milk

Mr Tiko also confirmed that the government’s ‘Free Milk and Weet-Bix’ programme will start again on January 15.

He said the products have been delivered to the various schools and were to be served when school started.

“The first rations of the Weet-Bix and free milk programme to the outer islands were delivered during the last three weeks of December, 2017,” he said.

“Text books have also been delivered to all schools that have made requests to the ministry’s Education Resource Centre (ERC).

New teacher happy with posting

Many new teacher graduates were pleased to know that they had passed the test and were given their new posting.

Avelina Tunamasi, 25, from Namosi Village was one of them. She has been posted to teach at the Naitavuni Catholic School in Naitasiri.

“I was shocked when the ministry informed me on Monday that I passed my test and will be posted to Naitavuni Catholic Primary School in Naitasiri,” she said.

She graduated from Corpus Christi Teachers College last year with a Diploma in Primary Teaching.

She also thanked the Government for giving her a post.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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