August 24, 2017
Comments at the start of a Government Roadshow for Teachers by the Civil Service Reform Unit Director Jane Curran cast racial aspersions and has trampled on the sterling qualifications and credibility of staff of the Ministry of Education.
The National Federation Party condemns her remarks in the strongest manner and calls on the World Bank to look into this condescending approach in its capacity as technical advisors to the civil service reforms.
Ms Curran’s comment while addressing teachers together with Attorney General Honourable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at Jai Narayan College on Monday (21 August) is an example of arrogant racism.
Remarkably the Attorney General who may have heard Ms Curran’s comments, chose to remain silent when apart from casting racial aspersions, Curran also degraded the Ministry staff as inferior in intellect. Does this mean that he condoned her racist remarks?
While addressing teachers who gave up their school holiday time to attend the Roadshow, Ms Curran claimed the Education Ministry made mistakes to contracts for teachers, because they apparently did not provide the required information as required by her.
Ms Curran said amongst other things, “…It was a bit of I thought I was speaking English but I wasn’t evidently. When I asked the question and on their defence they thought they were answering my question…” – Fiji One News, 23rd August 2017.
Ms Curran is obviously of the view that the Education Ministry staff do not understand and speak English. This is patronising and humiliating of the Ministry staff. While the staff may not speak English as perfectly as Ms Curran as it is her mother tongue, she should know that English has been the common language in Fiji for many years.
A vast majority of our people including civil servants are proficient in both spoken and written English, and a great many more Fijians hold high profile positions abroad on the back of our Education system. Staff of the Education Ministry are no exception.
Ms Curran deflecting blame on others for errors on her watch are a further indictment on her professionalism and capabilities.
The World Bank should immediately take appropriate steps to ensure its international standards are upheld.