Fiji Time: 3:13 PM on Monday 19 March

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Role switch

Litia Cava
Monday, January 29, 2018

EDUCATION Ministry permanent secretary Iowane Tiko has been replaced and reassigned to the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Mr Tiko has been replaced by the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Alison Burchell.

A statement by Public Service Commission chairperson Vishnu Mohan yesterday said with the agreement of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Ms Burchell had been appointed Education Ministry permanent secretary and Mr Tiko would take up her previous job at the Youth and Sports Ministry.

The changes take effect immediately.

Yesterday, Attorney-General and Education Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the Public Service Commission (PSC) was responsible for making such changes.

"The Public Service Commission has been monitoring all the permanent secretaries' performances and, as you know, there has been some previous changes that have taken place the past one month or so, but they (PSC) do assessments, they talk to civil servants, they do individual interviews and they appoint them individually and independently," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said the ministry gave feedback to PSC in respect of the individual permanent secretaries' performances.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum announced that an investigation would start tomorrow into the Education Ministry concerning the enormous amount of leaked information about staff members already posted on social media.

"We have seen, as I have highlighted already, that there is an enormous amount of leakage of information — personal information about staff, as you know some of them have been posted on Facebook.

"There's been a memo that's been sent out — this is individual teachers' personal information."

He claimed teachers in some divisions had been advised by education officers that they did not have to sit for the proficiency test and some were told they would be transferred to other schools, but this did not happen.

"There's been a delay in the processing, there's been missing information, so we are actually going to start some investigation in this respect and that's starting from Tuesday this coming week," he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said a team from the Civil Service Reform Management Unit (CSRMU) and from other ministries would conduct the investigation and those found responsible would be held accountable.

"And, of course, once those responsible are found, they will be held accountable, they need to go through the disciplinary process because we need to have a c-change (cultural change) in the culture in the Ministry of Education," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He reassured teachers who were "misinformed about their proficiency test" that they would be given one-year contracts.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum claimed these were teachers who were misinformed by divisional education officers that they did not have to sit for the test.

"In the meantime, of course, they (teacher) will have to sit for the exam when the exam is next sat and those exam dates will be made known in the next couple of weeks," he said.

"Please note that this exam is not about passing or failing, but it is about setting their proficiency in respect of being teachers."

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