Fiji teachers body takes a swipe at Education Minister’s claim

Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Picture: FT FILE

THE Fiji Teachers Confederation claims Education Minister Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum was incorrect when he said unions’ views were considered during the ministry’s recent restructure.

In a statement, FTC, which consists of the Fiji Teachers Union and the Fiji Teachers Association, said the unions were only invited to some consultations to be told what was being implemented.

The confederation’s statement is in response to a circular issued by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to teachers around the country on Sunday.

In the circular, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said claims that local Fijians and unions weren’t consulted for the ministry’s recent restructure were false.

He, however, said, the truth was that the ministry’s restructure came after six months of extensive, careful consultations with parents, unions, teachers, and ministry staff members.

“The contributions made by unions were considered,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“With feedback from Fijians at the forefront, expertise from Australia was also brought in to help reshape Fiji’s education system to be more like that of a modern and developed economy; this is something Fijians can be proud of and take confidence in; union bosses using international expertise as a fear tactic is irresponsible.”

In their response, FTC said the consultative structures of the past had been dismantled in the past decade.

“These included the Joint Consultative Committee, the Central Staff Board, the Curriculum Advisory Committee, the In-Service Training Committee and the like,” FTC said.

“The process of consultations gave transparency and fairness to the policies that were implemented.

“The numerous reforms implemented in the recent years were generally borrowed from elsewhere and imposed.”

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