Union awaits word

THE Fiji Teachers Union says it is concerned about the lack of communication by the Ministry of Education regarding the implementation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal four.

The UN SDG goal four deals with quality education.

FTU general secretary Agni Deo Singh said they had not received any feedback on their submissions to the ministry.

“We have time and again been asking the ministry to consult stakeholders, especially the teacher unions in the formulation, implementation and review of all education policies so that we can work together to improve education,” he said.

“This is one area that is seriously lacking especially at the top level.”

Mr Singh said a major obstacle was how all decisions had to be agreed upon by the minister. “We have been talking to the permanent secretary but as we all know, as the Fijian Constitution now stipulates, the permanent secretary can only implement any decision through the concurrence of the minister so now the minister actually has a decision-making power in the actual operations of the ministry.

“That is where we see that the permanent secretary is handicapped.

“Unless the minister agrees, he cannot implement any decisions.

“There have been many occasions in the last year when we have met, where the permanent secretary has agreed with our suggestions and our advice on policies and he assured us he would speak with the minister about the implementation but each time we meet again, he says that he has left the recommendation with the minister and unfortunately there is nothing forthcoming from his office.

“This is one of our serious concerns and I hope that this is looked into,” said Mr Singh.

A transcript of the entire interview with Mr Singh was sent to Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy via email but he did not wish to comment on the issues raised by the union.

Source:  The Fiji Times

By:  Repeka Nasiko