Jokhan: Half of applicants failed test

Education Ministry permanent secretary Anjeela Jokhan. Picture: FILE

A teacher proficiency test set for pre-service graduates in 2017 had seen half of the applicants fail their English proficiency test.

This, according to Education Ministry permanent secretary Anjeela Jokhan, who said the test was for those who wanted to enter the teaching profession and practising teachers who did not have education topics as part of their qualification.

“According to media reports, approximately half of the applicants failed the English proficiency component of the test, raising concerns about literacy standards of our teachers more broadly in the country,” she said.

Ms Jokhan said while the purpose of the test was to determine whether applicants should be offered a teaching contract, it was also meant to better inform professional development literacy requirements for teachers.

“The rate of failure suggests that there are problems with teacher literacy competency. This affects students and their parents. Students and their parents must have confidence in the competency of teachers.

“Fiji Teachers Confederation (FTC), therefore, must understand that we cannot sugar-coat the reality if we want to improve teacher competencies.”

Ms Jokhan claimed FTC was not helping its members by encouraging teachers in leadership positions to improve their IT skills.

“They have asked the ministry to allow applicants for heads of secondary schools to handwrite the job test because many would find it difficult to do the test online.

“Unfortunately, the confederation is stuck in the past while the rest of the world has moved on.”

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