No Pay Cut For Teach­ers: A-G

MIN­IS­TER FOR ED­U­CA­TION AIYAZ SAYED-KHAIYUM DIS­MISSES RU­MOURS OF A PAY DE­CREASE

Fiji Sun - - Nation - LOSIRENE LACANIVALU Edited by Ge­orge Ku­la­mai­wasa Feed­back: losirene.lacanivalu@ fi­jisun.com.fj

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Aiyaz SayedKhaiyum has dis­missed ru­mours that teach­ers will be re­ceiv­ing a pay de­crease this year. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum as­sured teach­ers at a press con­fer­ence in Suva yes­ter­day that “no teacher will re­ceive a pay de­crease.” He said the min­istry wanted to be very clear on this “as we move to in­sti­tute civil ser­vice re­forms and merit-based re­cruit­ment.” “There are some ru­mours go­ing around that some teach­ers will re­ceive pay de­creases. That’s not true at all,” he said. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said all teach­ers who would be reen­gaged would get a higher pay rate than their rate prior to the job eval­u­a­tion ex­er­cise.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they would also be able to re­ceive fur­ther pay rise based on as­sess­ments in the first year. He said new con­tracts is­sued by the min­istry would be de­pen­dent on the re­sult of the teach­ers’ eval­u­a­tion and that pay would be sup­ple­mented by ad­di­tional per­for­mance-based pay­ments later in the year. “Once the re­forms are fully in­sti­tuted Fiji will have the merit-based com­pen­sa­tion,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added that any ed­u­ca­tion staff who did not re­ceive their act­ing al­lowance in the school hol­i­days had been put back on that act­ing al­lowance from Jan­uary 10.

Stu­dents

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has warned schools not to turn away stu­dents who at­tended the same school last year. He said he had re­ceived var­i­ous com­plaints of stu­dents be­ing turned away by school prin­ci­pals from prom­i­nent schools in the Cen­tral Di­vi­sion.

“No school has the right to turn away stu­dents who at­tended that school in the last aca­demic year,” he said. He said some prin­ci­pals had turned away stu­dents who had passed Year 12 but their marks were not high enough be­cause they wanted 100 per cent pass for Year 13.

He said one stu­dent of a prom­i­nent school in the Suva-Nau­sori cor­ri­dor re­ceived 295 marks. But the school said it would only ac­cept stu­dents who scored 300 marks. It dis­al­lowed the stu­dent.

“That is not ac­cept­able,” he said.

Help Line 163

Best wishes

Mean­while, par­ents or teach­ers can now re­port their con­cerns to the min­istry by call­ing the toll free num­ber 163. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “This is the first time that the min­istry has set up the num­ber with Voda­fone and Dig­i­cel, where peo­ple are al­lowed and given a chance to voice any prob­lem, im­por­tantly to find a so­lu­tion. The num­ber will go live to­mor­row. (Jan­uary 16). Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has wished stu­dents the best for the new school year. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the new school year was es­pe­cially im­por­tant for those who en­tered the class­room for the very first time par­tic­u­larly the Year one stu­dents.

He said the min­istry had been happy to see par­ents take ad­van­tage of the sub­sidised bus fares by reg­is­ter­ing chil­dren at the na­tion­wide e-trans­port road shows to re­ceive e-trans­port cards. “Last week, we only had about 23,000–24,000 peo­ple who had ac­tu­ally reg­is­tered for the e-tran­script cards or top up and now, as of yes­ter­day, we had 63,000 stu­dents who have reg­is­tered. “We have heard from par­ents they are happy with the new sys­tem as it has made their jour­ney to school more con­ve­nient to their chil­dren,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said last year there were some abuse of the cards and they have ad­dressed the is­sue and have made the sys­tem more ef­fi­cient and more ac­count­able for stu­dents. “As a re­minder all stu­dent e-cards can only be used from 5am to 7pm from Mon­day to Satur­day,” he said. He said they had also made ar­range­ments with the school bus com­pa­nies that if stu­dents did not have their cards at least for the first few days or first two weeks school buses could take them with­out the cards. He said par­ents must un­der­stand that they must have the cards within the first two weeks of the school term.

He said there were other means of trans­port on sub­sidised ba­sis such as car­ri­ers, trucks and boats in ru­ral mar­itime ar­eas.

He said these stu­dents would con­tinue to re­ceive vouch­ers and they would con­tinue to travel un­der the voucher scheme. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said el­i­gi­ble stu­dents of Year Two to 13 had al­ready re­ceived the voucher to take home dur­ing the last day of school last year and this could be used to­day.

He said Year One par­ents had been able to ap­ply for the voucher since Jan­uary 10. He said those who hadn’t were urged to do so and they could re­ceive it in school to­day.

He said the head teach­ers had been given the author­ity to ap­prove the vouch­ers.

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

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