Status quo remains for school head appointments

Status quo remains for school head appointments

By Fijivillage
Tuesday 04/02/2020

Status quo remains for school head appointments
Tuesday 14/01/2020

By Vijay Narayan  

Rosy-Niko-SM

The Education Ministry can make school head appointments based on the Open Merit Recruitment System as the government has already received a stay order on the High Court ruling earlier handed down by Justice A.L.B Brito-Mutunayagam in the civil action case between the Ministry, Vatuvonu SDA College and five trustees of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Fiji.

The stay means that the status quo remains and the court ruling is not in effect as the government and other parties await the final decision of the Fiji Court of Appeal.

Justice Mutunayagam had earlier ruled that the government is required to appoint a civil servant as Principal of Vatuvonu SDA College in terms of the Open Merit Recruitment Selection and in a manner consistent with the constitutional right in section 22(4) which means that the proposed appointment must be acceptable to the Church. The section states that every religious community or denomination, and every cultural or social community, has the right to establish, maintain and manage places of education whether or not it receives financial assistance from the State, provided that the educational institution maintains any standard prescribed by law.

He had also declined the application by the Attorney General's Office that sought an order that the five trustees of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Fiji do not interfere with the Ministry of Education's right to appoint any suitable Head of the School and any Acting positions.

SODELPA MP, Niko Nawaikula claims in a Facebook post that Education Minister, Rosy Akbar has openly admitted to the media that she and her ministry are continuing to break the law on appointment of Principals in church schools, and he says as a lawyer, he shivers at how relaxed and confident Akbar is at openly flouting and breaking the law.

However Fijivillage has received confirmation that the stay has already been granted on the earlier ruling by the High Court and the Ministry of Education can follow the same system of appointments as they await the Court of Appeal ruling. This means the law has not been broken as alleged by the SODELPA MP.

PS Education appointment is done by PSC while schools heads appointments are done on merit - Akbar
(Tuesday 14/01/2020)

By Vijay Narayan/ Dhanjay Deo/ Naveel Krishant
 

Rosy-Akbar-SM

Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar has today stressed that the Permanent Secretary for Education appointment is done by the Public Service Commission while school head appointments are done on merit.

This follows comments by some people who are saying that they want a Methodist to be the Principal of Lelean Memorial School instead of Acting Principal Mohammed Feroz Khan, a iTaukei to be the Principal of Adi Cakobau School instead of Acting Principal Bharti Singh and the Fijian Teachers Association General Secretary, Paula Manumanunitoga wanting a local to be the next Permanent Secretary for Education as he says it was difficult to understand former PS, Alison Burchell and she did not consult with them on any issues.

Some ACS ex-students have even said that the school Principal’s post should only be given to a iTaukei based on their foundation and ethos.

Akbar says we should not bring in race and politics when it comes to our children's education.

She says we need to be focused on the outcomes, and there is no room for racism or divisiveness.

Akbar has also made it clear that all heads must and will respect the culture and ethos of the schools they serve.

She also stresses that the appointments of the new Acting Principals of Lelean Memorial School and ACS is based on the Open Merit Recruitment System.

However Methodist Church of Fiji President, Reverend Doctor Epineri Vakadewavosa says they want a Methodist to be appointed as the Principal of the Methodist Church run, Lelean Memorial School.

Secretary of the Lelean Old Students Association, Sakiasi Ditoka has also said in a statement released to all Lelean ex-scholars that Mohammed Feroz Khan, a non-Christian, has been appointed as Lelean’s Acting Principal. Ditoka says towards the end of 2019, the previous Permanent Secretary of Education, Alison Burchell, had confirmed that the then Vice-Principal of Lelean, Marika Sovaki, was to be the new Principal.

Ditoka says the central tenet of Lelean Memorial School has always been Christ, taught in the methodical way of Wesley. They say that the appointment of Khan was done without any consultation with the church leadership as has been done in all previous appointments of leadership in the Methodist Church schools.

He says it is not a personal objection whatsoever against Khan but it is a matter of principle that the government has seen fit to totally and absolutely violate. Ditoka says Lelean has always welcomed teachers of other faiths and ethnic backgrounds into its fold with open arms but at the same time, it has always reserved the leadership role for a member of the Church.

Methodist Church President, Reverend Vakadewavosa says that they have written to the Education Ministry and want the Acting Principal to be changed.

Reverend-Dr-Epineri-Vakadewavosa-sm

Minister Rosy Akbar stresses that there was no arrangement with the previous Permanent Secretary to appoint the Vice Principal as the Principal this year.

Akbar says the Ministry also has the right to appoint the heads of schools based on merit.

Church wants Principal changed while Akbar says Principal appointed on merit 
(Monday 13/01/2020)

By Vijay Narayan/Dhanjay Deo

akbar-on-lelean

Minister for Education, Rosy Akbar has stressed that the appointment of the new Acting Principal of Lelean Memorial School is based on the Open Merit Recruitment System.

This follows concerns raised by the Methodist Church of Fiji President, Reverend Doctor Epineri Vakadewavosa that they want a Methodist to be appointed as the Principal of the Methodist Church run, Lelean Memorial School.

Secretary of the Lelean Old Students Association, Sakiasi Ditoka has also said in a statement released to all Lelean ex-scholars that Mohammed Feroz Khan, a non Christian, has been appointed as Lelean’s Acting Principal. Ditoka says towards the end of 2019, the previous Permanent Secretary of Education, Alison Burchell, had confirmed that the then Vice Principal of Lelean, Marika Sovaki, was to be the new Principal.

Ditoka says the central tenet of Lelean Memorial School has always been Christ, taught in the methodical way of Wesley. They say that the appointment of Khan was done without any consultation with the church leadership as has been done in all previous appointments of leadership in the Methodist Church schools.

He says it is not a personal objection whatsoever against Khan but it is a matter of principle that the government has seen fit to totally and absolutely violate. Ditoka says Lelean has always welcomed teachers of other faiths and ethnic backgrounds into its fold with open arms but at the same time, it has always reserved the leadership role for a member of the Church.

Methodist Church President, Reverend Vakadewavosa says that they have written to the Education Ministry and want the Acting Principal to be changed.

Minister Rosy Akbar stresses that there was no arrangement with the previous Permanent Secretary to appoint the Vice Principal as the Principal this year.

Akbar says the Ministry also has the right to appoint the heads of schools based on merit.



Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Pacific Nations Cup 2022
...
13 hours ago

Budget 2022 - 2023
The 2022/2023 National Budget will be delivered on the 15th of July this ...
2 days ago

RKS and Tailevu North retain Tailevu Zone title
RKS won the boys division with 25 gold, 21 silver and 24 bronze. Tailevu North College took out the girls title with 33 gold, 17 silver and 9 bronze ...
9 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
FNPFโ€™s acquisition of Fiji Airways shares is clouded in financial secrecy โ€“ Prof. Prasad
It is only fair that the people know what is the total sum of money that the workers of Fiji have pumped into Fiji Airways, inclusive of loans and the...
6 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Peopleโ€™s Alliance calls for transparency in the sale of Fiji Airways shares
The Peopleโ€™s Alliance has called on the Government for transparency in the sale of Fiji Airways shares and Party Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka is urging ...
4 hours ago

Chaudhry questions FNPF purchase of shares in Fiji Airways
The pension fund of the workers held in FNPF is for their retirement and must be protected from predators. This has been highlighted by Fiji ...
4 hours ago

Has Fiji Airways debt to FNPF been converted to shares to make the Fiji Airways books look good โ€“ Anthony
We are calling on the Board of the Fiji National Provident Fund to clearly explain to members of the Fund the basis of its decision to buy shares of ...
5 hours ago

Fijian Elections Office receives voter education material for persons with disability
The Fijian Elections Office today received voter education material for persons with disability. The Electoral Commissionโ€™s vision for the 2022 ...
5 hours ago

COVID vaccine roll out for children aged 5-11 years old to be announced either tonight or tomorrow
The COVID-19 vaccine roll out for children aged 5 โ€“ 11 years will be announced either tonight or tomorrow morning after the launch earlier ...
6 hours ago

TOP