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By Nanise Nawalowalo

SUVA, Fiji (FijiSUN, April 28) - The Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to reach bilateral agreements with other Pacific Island countries to employ newly-graduated teachers from Fiji.

But Fiji Teachers Union general secretary Agni Deo Singh said instead of looking outside the country, principals should address the issue of understaffed schools.

"No one can dispute the fact that there is a need for more teachers. They have been overloaded since the implementation of the Performance Management System," said Singh.

The Ministry of Education’s director of secondary section, Nemani Lutubula, said there were 200 surplus teachers on the list and the onus was on ministry find jobs for them. "We’re working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on a bilateral agreement with neighboring Pacific countries for those graduates who have been funded by the Government," said Lutubula.

He said the maximum number of available posts that had been taken up by civil servants were 2,992 with grants-in-aid teachers at a maximum of 1,163.

"I think we are obliged to look for jobs for them since we have reached our ceiling and we cannot go beyond that or else we will be surcharged. We are looking outside but within our neighboring Pacific Island countries and we have visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who assured us they would work quickly on this," said Lutubula.

He said three Pacific countries raised interest in wanting to employ teachers from Fiji during the Commonwealth Ministry of Education Workshop last week.

April 29, 2005


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