Proper procedures were followed in teachers’ dismissal: Kumar

Fiji’s Minister for Education Premila Kumar denies claims by the Fijian Teachers Association that it did not follow proper processes in the dismissal of six teachers in 2021 for reasons relating to corporal punishment and sexual harassment.

Four were let go for corporal punishment and two for sexual harassment.

“These were cases pending from previous years which were vetted by the Solicitor General’s office before the decision to dismiss them,” Minister for Education Premila Kumar said in a statement responding to comments made by FTA in media reports three days ago.

“We do our investigation, we put a report together and we take a second opinion from SG’s office before we sign off that letter. Unions need to get their facts right before making such discerning claims, in the media. The ministry welcomes discussions with the unions if they have issues regarding any case. However, before exhausting this avenue, unions are notorious in going to the media.”

The ministry adds that it practices zero tolerance when it comes to corporal punishment and sexual harassment as outlined in the Child Protection Policy 2010. While it is duty-bound to look after its employees it will never compromise the safety of students, the ministry said.

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