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NFP leader is changing tune: PS

November 19, 2021 4:35 pm
Professor Biman Prasad [left] and Anjeela Jokhan

The Education Ministry is urging teachers not to fall for tricks used by politicians who are making it seem as if the Ministry is attacking the teachers.

Permanent Secretary, Anjeela Jokhan says National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad is now changing his tune on teachers’ qualifications as earlier he had stated that the Education Minister’s comments are not only derogatory but a “bane of education”.

Prasad on the NFP’s Facebook page over the weekend had also said that it is an insult to the hardworking teachers after the Education Minister had called on teachers to upgrade their qualifications.

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Jokhan says today, Prasad is saying that he never said that the NFP wants unqualified teachers in the teaching system.

Jokhan says by attacking the Minister’s call for teachers to upgrade their qualifications, Prasad simply wants unqualified teachers to teach students.

“Can Agni Deo Singh or Biman Prasad go to Fiji Times and tell our parents that their children are being taught by teachers who failed Basic English exams. Yet they are fighting for these teachers to continue teaching. While the purpose of the test was to determine whether the applicant should be offered teaching contract, it was also meant to better inform professional development literacy requirement for teachers, the rate of failure suggests that there are problems with teacher literacy competency, what is wrong in pointing that out”.

The Permanent Secretary adds the Minister only wants the small number of teachers who have failed to keep up to date with their qualifications as reported by the Fiji Teachers Registration Authority to do so.

FTRA reported that teachers with “limited authority to teach” were given opportunities to pursue their studies from 2009 and unfortunately some have not upgraded their qualifications.

Jokhan says Government incentivized teachers by increasing the pay for qualified teachers from $18,000 to $26,000.

Another incentive the Government has provided is TELS to support more students wanting to obtain teaching qualifications – so there are no excuses.

She reiterates that their notice is for a small number of teachers who haven’t got their qualifications and registration updated.

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