HON. AG HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE TO ADDRESS EDUCATION ISSUES
Attorney-General and Minister for Education Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has clarified that the recent “English Proficiency Test” undertaken by teaching applicants was not administered on a pass or fail basis.
The AG, while speaking at a press conference in Suva this afternoon, said the Ministry of Education will make all appointments, transfers and promotions in a transparent fashion, and on the basis of merit, and merit alone.
As part of Government’s commitment to the open-merit recruitment guidelines, an English Proficiency Examination was administered by the Ministry of Education, with guidance from the Civil Service Reform Management Unit, as part of the first-ever comprehensive assessment of merit for teaching applicants.
The AG said the main purpose of the assessment was to provide benchmark data to help measure the effectiveness of professional development programmes that will be carried out throughout the year.
The assessment covered four relevant categories: qualifications, experience, knowledge of contemporary teaching and learning strategies, and English proficiency.
“The results from the assessment will better enable Government to ensure all appointments are made on the basis of merit. The results also provide a clear picture of where we need to target investment in the professional development of our teaching staff,” the AG said.
The AG has assured all teachers that Government remains committed to their professional development and will invest in programmes that support them in educating young Fijians.
“The assessment was also carried out to ensure that all teaching applicants met baseline proficiency requirements prior to being appointed to teaching positions. Only teaching applicants who have met the proficiency requirements have been appointed to teaching positions in Term 1,” the AG said.
A second round of assessment will take place this Saturday 13th January for those who were unable to sit for the first round or who previously applied and were unsuccessful at being appointed to a teaching position.
“Following the second round of assessment, teaching applicants who have met the baseline proficiency requirements will be appointed to a position during Term 1. Assessments will be finalised and appointment lists will be announced by 18 January, with offer letters and contracts sent by Friday 19 January. Schools have contingency plans in place for some teachers to begin teaching in the second week of Term 1,” the AG added.
The AG also said that for the first time, offer letters and contracts for teachers will be released to the Divisional Offices. Teaching staff can pick-up letters and contracts at the Division Office that covers the address listed as their nominated home address.
“Applicants need no longer travel to Suva to pick-up these items. That was the old way that took up undue time and resources, and that system had no place in the 21st century,” the AG highlighted.
With school beginning next Monday, the AG has also reminded all parents and guardians to ensure their students have obtained either a yellow or blue eTransport card and their card is sufficiently topped up ahead of the first day of school.
Set travel times for subsidised eTransport card usage will be introduced from Term One whereby the cards can now only be used between 5am and 7pm Monday through Saturday.
[Information sourced from here]