Up­hold Trust, Teach­ers Told

Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Reddy re­acts to in­ap­pro­pri­ate pic­tures al­legedly posted by teacher on so­cial me­dia

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA and JES­SICA GOUNDER

Teach­ers can’t af­ford to lose the trust and re­spect be­stowed upon them by their stu­dents, says Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Ma­hen­dra Reddy. He made these com­ments af­ter a school teacher al­legedly posted semi-nude pic­tures of her­self on so­cial me­dia. Mr Reddy re­fused to dis­close more de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on the is­sue as in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­tinue.

“A teacher is a teacher whether it is in the school com­pound or out­side the school com­pound,” he said. “We ex­pect teach­ers to be­have in a man­ner which up­holds the in­tegrity of a teacher be­ing a guardian or sec­ond par­ent of the child.

“Stu­dents get to trust and con­fide in a teacher but when they see teach­ers in a dif­fer­ent man­ner; be­cause of the teacher’s con­duct, they will start los­ing the trust and con­fi­dence in the teacher,” he said. Mr Reddy said teach­ers were ex­pected to be­have in a man­ner which was pro­fes­sional all the time.

“Sim­i­larly a church pri­est can’t ar­gue that

when he is out­side the church he can be­have as he likes and not be­have like a pri­est; drink­ing and be­hav­ing in a man­ner which is not ac­cept­able to so­ci­ety be­cause so­ci­ety looks up to re­li­gious priests and teach­ers. “No mat­ter where they are, so­ci­ety ex­pects a high level of be­hav­iour from priests and teach­ers. “We ex­pect our teach­ers to be­have pro­fes­sion­ally all the time no mat­ter where they are be­cause they are seen as sec­ond par­ents to chil­dren pro­vid­ing a home away from home and we can­not af­ford to lose that trust and con­fi­dence,” he said.

Face­book com­ment a con­cern to the gen­eral public

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a se­ri­ous com­ment re­cently posted on Face­book about a man “want­ing to rape a mi­nor”, says Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Si­tiveni Qiliho. “The na­ture of the posted com­ment raises se­ri­ous con­cerns,” he said Mr Qiliho’s com­ment fol­lows a Face­book post whereby a man, claimed he wanted to rape a mi­nor.

Peo­ple have high­lighted the se­ri­ous­ness of the post as it was fol­lowed by the pic­ture of the young girl (mi­nor) he was re­fer­ring to.

Bri­gadier-Gen­eral Qiliho said: “At a time when the na­tion is work­ing to­wards erad­i­cat­ing this prob­lem and look­ing at ways of pro­tect­ing our chil­dren from be­com­ing vic­tims of such crimes, mak­ing a joke of such an is­sue is sick­en­ing.” Po­lice are try­ing to track down where the com­ment orig­i­nated from and who was the per­son in­volved. Mean­while on Face­book peo­ple have al­leged that the per­son who posted the com­ment be­longs to the New Methodist Chris­tian Fel­low­ship Church. But gen­eral su­per­in­ten­dent of the church Atu­naisa Vu­laono said: “He is not part of the church or a mem­ber of any of our mis­sion.” Mem­bers of the church have said that phones and the use of Face­book are pro­hib­ited to the mis­sion boys of the church.

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