Letters to the Editor – January 26, 2020

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Norwich City - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - January 11, 2020 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Jon Super

Ole downfall

My brother won the battle in front of the TV last week as Liverpool clinched a 2-0 victory over my beloved Man United. Of course it was sad, the greater sadness arrived when Burnley visited Old Trafford and handed them a 0-2 defeat. Back to back losses for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer! He is on a downfall since the win against PSG in the Champions League. Embarrassing performances and poor management. Sir Alex Ferguson’s hard work and legacy has gone down the drain. Master Lingam would surely agree to this! RAYNAV CHAND, Nakasi

Coronavirus threat

Sobo, the Western world is taking it seriously. In Fiji it’s low, huh? BBC says otherwise. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Lautoka

Empty counters

What is the purpose of certain banks having 10 to 12 serving counters but only one or two are operational at any specific time? It’s utterly frustrating, especially on a chaotic Friday! Nishant Singh Lautoka

OMRS system

Recently, the chairman of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts — who is also an assistant minister — suggested at one of his municipality meetings that the open merit recruitment and selection (OMRS) system should be introduced to municipalities. Excellent idea but start with municipal elections that would make the system more meaningful and accountable as the names suggests. Neil Billings California Teacher issues I am perplexed at some of the rhetoric on the teacher issues of the so-called “know all” correspondents of The Fiji Times. I respect the views of individuals aired through the most read newspaper. However, the sweeping statements made by one Simon on teacher standards cannot be left unchallenged. As we enter into the 2020 academic year, firstly, let me wish all the teachers of Fiji and Rotuma a rewarding and meaningful school year. Your sacrifices in the education of the children under your care is noted and valued. To all the school heads, I say let the barking dogs be. Just carry on the good work you are doing. Be rest assured that the children, parents and the stakeholders value your work. I am well aware of the fact many teachers have sacrificed their own children’s education in the education of others. Some of them have spent their entire teaching career in remote and rural areas. I know of a couple who have been teaching in the rural area for the past 15 years and who have been seeking a transfer to a school in Labasa in vain, still giving their best in Nadogo because they have the students’ welfare at heart. I believe there are many other teachers as such. Let me remind the “fly by the night” critics that the work of these teachers is cherished by hundreds and thousands. Their passion for children’s education and intrinsic motivation to deliver are the hallmarks of the noble profession. It is rather unfortunate that there are some who cannot see the silver lining in the cloud and nor do they see the trees from the woods. I wish all the teachers and heads of schools a successful 2020. Arun Prasad Dilkusha, Nausori

Accident compensation

What I found both interesting and surprising from the recent question and answer press release by the Accident Compensation Commission Fiji (ACCF) on accident compensation was that one of the two sources of funds would be from “40 per cent of the 1 per cent FNU Levy”. It has always been my understanding from the days of FNTC that employers in both the public sector (including government departments) and the private sector, contributed 1 per cent of their gross income to the FNTC back in the day and now to its successor FNU, for training and upskilling of their staff members. In other words, this was a “deduction” made compulsory by legislation to meet the manpower training and upskilling needs of our workforce and that all employers contributed to it. That indeed was the understanding and that’s why contributions were made via the 1 per cent levy. So, the redirection of the funds — albeit only 40 per cent — to meet a non-training requirement, comes as a surprise to me and I am sure to the contributing employers as well. I am sure that to enable this redirection of funds — after the establishment of ACCF — the appropriate legislation and regulations would have been amended accordingly. Unfortunately, I must have missed that important event and I would like to see it, just to set my mind at rest after such
novel and surprising move. In any case, while it is only a partial funding issue,
I just hope that the manpower training and upskilling needs of our workforce
has not been unduly compromised by the redirection of funds. If that has happened, it will indeed be a real shame. EDWARD BLAKELOCK, Admiral Circle, Pacific Harbour

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