Teachers celebrate World Teachers day today. It is a day to reflect on who they are, why they are in the profession and where they are heading. In our context, their integrity, dignity and security of employment is at grave risk.
We understand the mess that the whole education system is in under the Fiji First government. We understand the frustration of teachers with respect to appointments, promotions, contracts etc.
The NFP government will restore the dignity and respect as well as the social, professional and economic status of teachers. We will abolish contractual employment and put all teachers on permanent contracts.
We will restore in service training and professional development. We will establish partnership between unions, school management to ensure that teachers have a congenial and harmonious environment in which they can do their work.
In this long and important process, where parents and guardians in a way leave their children at the disposal of the teacher, it speaks volumes about the faith, trust and respect that the society has for our teachers.
That is why an NFP government will increase the retirement age to 60 years to ensure we retain the experienced cadre of teachers needed to guide the young, energetic professionals to forge a better future.
NFP extends its best wishes to all the teachers in Fiji on the occasion of the World Teachers Day. We salute the teachers in the country for remaining steadfast in their commitment to teaching despite an uncertain climate.
Professor Biman Prasad