Seniority most important criteria, says minister

TEACHERS have been assured that seniority is going to be the most important criteria used when determining teacher promotions.

Education, Heritage and Arts Minister Rosy Akbar said the two teacher unions were working on a matrix where the years of experience, leadership quality and service in the school system would also be taken into account.

“What I am saying here is that I may not be able to do an overall change to this, but we will go step by step,” Ms Akbar said.

The president of the Fijian Teachers Association (FTA), Netani Druavesi, also raised the issue and said the one month to five-year contracts replaced the agreed secure tenure systems for teachers.

Mr Druavesi claimed that banks and financial providers had directly demanded quick settlements within contract periods and teachers were now obliged to a higher payment commitment schedule and a little take home pay.

“The Ministry of Education had not done any impact studies on these and teachers are suffering as MOE will not budge from its reforms,” Mr Druavesi said.

Ms Akbar, in her response, said those who had been issued a five-year contract, their contracts would be auto renewed.

“Performance is very important and quality is also important,” she added.

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