NEWS

Education Culture Change

The Attorney-General and Minister for Education, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has announced a range of new protocols for the Ministry of Education to address a number of systemic issues affecting Fijian teachers.
29 Jan 2018 11:33
Education Culture Change
The Minister for Education Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the press conference on January 28, 2018.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Education, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has announced a range of new protocols for the Ministry of Education to address a number of systemic issues affecting Fijian teachers.

He also set out clear expectations for the role of Ministry officials in supporting Fiji’s teachers in their important work educating young Fijians.

The A-G announced the following at a press conference yesterday in Suva:

  • The Ministry of Education has discovered that some teachers received incorrect information from some divisional education officers and education officers in Suva and were told they did not need to sit for examinations to receive a contract. Those teachers who were given that incorrect information will be granted one-year contracts, but they will need to sit for proficiency examinations to determine their order of merit so they can be appropriately placed in schools. All teachers who were given incorrect information and did not yet sit for an exam will be required to sign a statutory declaration stating the circumstances around their situation.

 The Ministry of Education is in the process of assessing appropriate school locations to best accommodate teachers seeking transfers. Teachers that have been given representations by Ministry officials that they will be transferred, but who have not yet been transferred, will have their claims properly verified. Once verified, those pending teacher transfer requests will be processed in the next two weeks.

 Teacher shortages are being addressed on an ongoing basis. The Ministry officials touring the country to assess teacher shortages has been ended. School Heads have now been granted greater autonomy and responsibility, and will be required to submit forms requesting additional teaching personnel and facilities if required. Ministry officials will then verify the need for additional teachers and facilities. Forms will be made available by the end of this week. The Ministry will be placing priority on filling secondary school vacancies, mainly in the subject areas of maths, physics, industrial arts and office technologies.

  • For those interested teacher candidates who were not previously available to take exams, new exam times would be advertised this coming Saturday, February 3, 2018.
  • Civil Service Reform Unit Director Jane Curran will be chairing an independent investigation into issues of non-performance, deliberate giving out of wrong information and leaks of teachers’ personal information. Assurances were made that those found responsible would be held accountable.
  • There has also been misinformation spread about teacher compensation; it was clarified that, because school started in the middle of a fortnight, some teachers were paid for three days’ work before a new fortnight began. All teachers would be paid in full for the next fortnight upon its completion.

The A-G also said he looked forward to working with the newly appointed Permanent Secretary for Education, Heritage and the Arts Alison Burchell to foster a culture of transparency and accountability within the ministry.

“Our teachers play an invaluable role in developing our young people and we need better protections in place to ensure everyone is always treated with dignity and respect. We need much greater transparency and accountability from the Ministry of Education to make that happen. Our teachers must be regarded as clients of the Ministry of Education, only then can our teachers focus fully on providing high quality education to the 200,000 Fijian students throughout the country,” he said.

Any questions can be referred to the teacher hotline at 162 (between the hours of 8am and 8 pm) or by e-mail at Csrmu.enquiries@gmail.com.

Department of Information

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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