Fiji’s Ministry of Education is retaining the three-year term schooling calendar, and not four as initially advised as Minister for Education Aseri Radrodro rings in the changes including keeping on teachers who have or will turn 55 this year.
In a statement issued this hour, Mr Radrodro says the decision follows various consultations he has had since taking up the portfolio last month, assuring parents and guardians as well that free education and transport assistance will continue.
“The ministry is in the process of advising Cabinet for Teachers to report to their various schools on January 30th for resumption of their official duties. Students however will begin school proper on Monday 6th February,” Mr Radrodro said.
“The ministry is also advising all school administrations that teachers who have turned 55 or will turn 55 this year are now to remain in employment until they reach 60 years of age. This is in line with the 60-year retirement age as established by the Coalition Government.”
Mr Radrodro also reassures parents and guardians that the Fijian Government will continue to provide free education and transport assistance to all eligible students as has been the practice, and transport will be available to take students to school when school begins.
Discussions are ongoing as well with certain line ministries and stakeholders for the re-engagement of school chaplains who will be sent to schools to assist with the spiritual guidance of students, who can expect moral and psychological support from these school chaplains as well, similar to what was practised in the past. The cost of maintaining such school Chaplains is expected to be co-shared by the Government.
The ministry is also urging school management to refrain from effecting too many changes given recent developments, and they are encouraged to seek guidance from the ministry for any clarifications on policy direction.