Social media policy – Teachers, students and parents cannot be ‘friends’

SVC Teachers and students during the mVuli Portal Launch at Swami Vivekananda College in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH/FILE

SCHOOL teachers are not allowed to have students or their parents as friends on social media.

This is one of the new requirements in the Ministry of Education’s policy on the use of social media.

Teachers have been told they can’t send friend requests nor accept requests from students and their parents.

“If they exist, they must be unfriended immediately,” states the policy.

Teachers are also not allowed to tag colleagues in any personal posting on social media “without the prior permission of the individual being tagged”.

Teachers are also not allowed to post pictures of students on social media at any time.

They also can’t use social media during school hours.

“MEHA places a high priority on child protection and any social media use should carefully consider if there are any child protection issues.”

In regards to their work, teachers are not allowed to post any ministry documents and exam results on social media.

“Results of job tests, student assessments, discipline and performance management issues, financial information on school operations should not be on social media.”

The ministry’s staff members are also prohibited from making any negative comments against the government, ministers and members of Parliament.

The policy asks teachers to report against any other teacher who may have used social media “inappropriately”.

“An employee who is aware of inappropriate social media use and fails to report it may also be subjected to disciplinary action,” the policy states.

The policy came into effect in June this year.

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