441 teachers resign in six months

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Education Minister Aseri Radrodro with Assistant Minister for iTaukei Affairs Isikeli Tuiwailevu during break between sessions at the Parliament complex in Suva yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA

About 441 teachers have resigned from the education sector in the first six months of this year.

And 80 per cent of these teachers have migrated for greener pastures while the other 20 per cent have found job opportunities in the region and in other institutions in Fiji.

Education Minister Aseri Radrodro highlighted this while responding to questions from Opposition MP Hem Chand on the number of teachers who have resigned between January and June of this year and the ministry’s plans to address this.

He said that 99 teachers resigned in January, 62 in February, 74 in March, 53 teachers in April, 89 in May, while 64 resigned in June.

“To address the exodus of our teachers, the Ministry of Education is ensuring that the teaching and learning environment is not at any time compromised,” Mr Radrodro said.

He said to address the high turnover of teachers, the ministry recruited 96 early childhood education teachers, six special schoolteachers, 303 primary schoolteachers, 164 secondary schoolteachers and 569 new graduates as of last month.

“The Ministry of Education has also reengaged retirees from the age of 55, as per the Ministry of Civil Service’s guide. The re-engagement was done through the expression of interest processes.

“For 2023, there were 38 secondary schoolteachers who had retired in 2022 and 24 are reengaged due to lack of teachers in specific areas like math, physics, computer, and office technology.

“PEMAC (Physical Education, Music, and Art and Craft) teachers and industrial arts were reengaged as even the new graduates do not meet the demand in this specialised areas. “The criteria for recruitment is based on merit and I had to ensure that there is no nepotism entertained in this recruitment.”

Mr Radrodro said another strategy undertaken was the re-engagement of staff members who were let go when the “No jab, no job” policy was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that of the 190 teachers who were terminated, 119 expressed interest and were reengaged.

“We have already executed the plans to ensure that quality education in all our 176 secondary schools, 736 primary schools and more than 800 ECE centres is not at any time compromised as we are committed to leaving no child behind.

“The Ministry of Education is currently working in discussions with local universities and training institutions on the alignment of subject combination in line with the need in our school as we are the biggest employers of all the graduates from universities in regard to the teaching profession.”

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