Reddy wel­comes ECE pay rise

$6.8m was al­lo­cated as salary grant

Fiji Sun - - 2016-17 National Budget - FILIPE NAIGULEVU SUVA Edited by Paula Tu­vuki Feed­back: filipe.naigulevu@fi­

The Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Ma­hen­dra Reddy has wel­comed the pay rise for pre-school teach­ers. He said Early Child­hood Ed­u­ca­tion (ECE) teach­ers could ex­pect a pay rise come Au­gust 1. It was an­nounced by the Min­is­ter for Fi­nance Aiyaz SayedKhaiyum dur­ing the 2016-2017 Bud­get ad­dress in Par­lia­ment on Wed­nes­day.

A to­tal of $2.1mil­lion was al­lo­cated for ECE while $6.8m was al­lo­cated as the salary grant for ECE teach­ers. Mr Reddy said ECE teach­ers were paid very low salaries and one third of the salaries was paid by the school man­age­ment. “The sec­ond is­sue that they were fac­ing was man­age­ment was not pay­ing on time so they were re­ally strug­gling. “So here what the Min­istry of Fi­nance has de­liv­ered is that we are pay­ing full salary to them. We must re­mem­ber this is for half days work,” he said. “This is a ma­jor jump about 2.6 times higher than what they are get­ting and this will solve a lot of prob­lems and get us to work with the teach­ers to look af­ter our kids and pre­pare them well for Year One.” Mr Reddy said the in­crease in salary for ECE teach­ers would at­tract more peo­ple to es­tab­lish ECE around the coun­try. “A lot of par­ents will de­mand for ECE ed­u­ca­tion to their chil­dren be­fore they get into Year One. That’s ex­actly what we want, to send them to ECE so they are well pre­pared for Year One,” he said. Mr Reddy said he was very happy with the al­lo­ca­tion made to his min­istry and was ex­cited about mov­ing for­ward with the re­forms they were un­der­tak­ing. “This year we have re­sources to con­sol­i­date and strengthen the de­liv­ery of the re­forms.

“In ad­di­tion to that, we are very happy that our ma­jor al­lo­ca­tion for the re­con­struc­tion of the schools and we are tar­get­ing that by the end of this De­cem­ber all th­ese schools should be con­structed and ready,” he said. Mean­while, the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Her­itage and Arts was al­lo­cated a to­tal of $448.5m com­pared to $432.2m al­lo­cated in the pre­vi­ous Bud­get.

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