Minister Calls Out School Heads

 Teacher in maritime island terminated, charged, after allegedly sexually assaulting students, Alleged incident was known only after a community policing outreach was done
13 Jun 2022 16:47
 Minister Calls Out School Heads
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts Premila Kumar Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Minister for Educa­tion, Premila Kumar, has called out Head of Schools and Child Protection Officers to step up and be vigi­lant in their responsibilities in schools.

This was after a school teacher was charged by Police over the weekend with six counts of sexual assault and three counts of inde­cent assault.

The teacher is expected to be produced at the Suva Magistrates Court today.

According to Police, two of the victims of the alleged incidents are 13-year-olds while the third victim is a 14-year-old.

They were allegedly sexually assaulted by the same teacher between 2020 to 2022.

The matter was known after it was reported to Police following a Community Policing Outreach Drive conducted in a village on a maritime island.

Ms Kumar said such cases should have been picked up at the school level and all our child protection officers are trained to pick up such incidents.

“We appreciate the work of the Fiji Police Force community outreach programme that picked up the sexual abuse cases in the school. It was not picked up by the child pro­tection officer, class teacher or head of school (HOS),” she said.

“It was unfortunate that such cases erode parents’ trust in teachers. Majority of our teachers genuinely place children’s interest first and look after them with compassion and empathy,” Ms Kumar said.

“It’s just a handful of rotten teachers who give bad names to the teaching fraternity.”

She added that the ministry upon receiving such cases suspended the teacher immedi­ately while the Police conducted investiga­tion.

“Based on the investigation report the teacher is terminated,” she said.

Chief Operations Officer Assistant Com­missioner of Police (ACP) Abdul Khan said the Fiji Police’s Community Policing arm aims to enhance community members’ awareness and understanding of the law, and through such platforms, victims have come forward to report crimes.





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