NEWS

Based on Merit Alone: Akbar

      Faith-based organisa­tions that continue to push for principals of their own faiths to head their schools have the option of going private. Minister for Education, Her­itage and
15 Jan 2019 10:13
Based on Merit Alone: Akbar
Minister for Education Rosy Akbar.

 

 

 

Faith-based organisa­tions that continue to push for principals of their own faiths to head their schools have the option of going private.

Minister for Education, Her­itage and Arts Rosy Akbar yesterday thanked the man­agement of all of Fiji’s faith-based schools for their con­tribution. But she stressed that all school heads must be appointed fairly, based on “merit and merit alone”.

“The Ministry of Educa­tion, Heritage and Arts re­minds the public that, as re­quired by the Constitution

and in line with the Open Merit and Recruitment Se­lection Policy Guideline, all school heads must be appointed fairly, based on merit and merit alone,” Ms Akbar said.

“Like any taxpayer-funded civil servant position, it is absolutely essential that the recruitment, selection, and promotion of Fiji’s teach­ers –– those charged with overseeing the classrooms where our children spend their most formative years –– is done blind to ethnic­ity, faith or favouritism, and is instead decided by ability, education, and experience.”

Head of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, has re­cently made headlines call­ing for only Catholics to be principals of their schools.

“The ministry wishes to thank the management of all of Fiji’s faith-based schools for their contri­bution in educating our nation’s young minds by building and maintaining so many of Fiji’s primary and secondary schools.”

Ms Akbar said and ex­pressed appreciation to those who have readily ac­cepted new merit-based ap­pointees.

“While change is never easy, for the sake of build­ing a truly free and fair so­ciety, we ask that all schools follow their lead.”

Options for schools:

Ms Akbar said all faith-based schools, that prefer their school heads be ap­pointed based on their faith can go ahead and make their appointments but Government will not pro­vide them with Free Educa­tion Grant.

“Alternately, school man­agement and committees have the option of privatis­ing the school,” she said.

“This ensures that tax­payer funds are not being utilised for positions that don’t meet open merit re­quirements, while afford­ing the freedom of choice to schools who wish to make appointments based on oth­er factors.

“In these and other cases of privatised schools, the Free Education Grant is not payable to the privatised school.

“Throughout the year, the ministry will continue to conduct consultations with Fiji’s 736 primary and 173 secondary schools, where input can be given on the nation’s ongoing educa­tion revolution, including merit-based civil service reforms,” she said.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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