Ministry didn’t communicate with teachers – FTU
Unions were fully aware of the Job Evaluation Exercise in 2017 – Dr. Jokhan

Ministry didn’t communicate with teachers – FTU

Unions were fully aware of the Job Evaluation Exercise in 2017 – Dr. Jokhan

By Dhanjay Deo , Navitalai Naivalurua
Monday 22/11/2021
Fiji Teachers Union General Secretary, Agni Deo Singh and Minister for Education Dr Anjeela Jokhan.

Fiji Teachers Union General Secretary, Agni Deo Singh says the Ministry of Education at no point in time has communicated to the teachers who are certificate and diploma holders that their qualification is not recognised any more and they must pursue further education.

Singh adds until 2006, all primary school teachers went through a two year teacher training at Nasinu Teachers College and later at Lautoka Teachers College and this training was and still remains the minimum qualification required for teachers to teach in a primary school adding there has not been any change that they are aware of.

Singh says they agree these teachers need to gradually upgrade teacher qualifications but this has to be done in a rational manner where planning is required, and these teachers have to be given the opportunity to pursue further education through in-service training awards.

He says these teachers need to be given leave with pay and then only they will be able to pursue further education because full time teachers have to earn a living to sustain their families.

The FTU General Secretary says this kind of planning has to be done well ahead of an implementation date of a higher standard of recognised qualification and the Ministry cannot make an announcement overnight and say that all those teachers who have certificate and diploma are deemed unqualified and therefore they will be replaced.

Singh says all these teachers have vast experience and have been promoted over the years based on merit.

The Permanent Secretary for Education Dr Anjeela Jokhan had told Legend FM News on Friday that diploma and certificate holders cannot be classified as qualified teachers.

Dr. Jokhan says there are 3 levels of qualifications in teacher training; certificate, diploma and degree and as per the Teacher Remuneration Policy of the Ministry, a fully qualified teacher is one who has a degree in teaching.

She says those with diplomas and certificates are not fully qualified and this includes Assistant Teachers (diploma holders) and Classroom Assistants (certificate holders).

Dr Jokhan says these diplomas and certificate holders cannot be classified as qualified teachers.

She says the unions were fully aware of the Job Evaluation Exercise in 2017 and they knew that this exercise took place.

The Permanent Secretary adds the Teacher Remuneration Policy has been in effect since 2018 which clearly sets out the qualification requirements for teachers.

Dr Jokhan says until today, the unions have never opposed this and the Ministry is appalled that they oppose it or claim not to know it.

We have sent further questions to Dr. Jokhan and are awaiting a response.



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