30 Apr 2009

Fiji teachers association says future of education in Fiji is bleak

7:29 am on 30 April 2009

A union representing teachers in Fiji says the future of education there is bleak, with hundreds of teachers being forced to retire today.

The military-led government has decreed that civil servants must retire at the age of 55.

700 primary and secondary school teachers are affected, but some are being retained on separate contracts.

Maika Namudu from the Fijian Teachers Association, says there's been no consultation over who will stay on.

"Most of the people declared now are teachers, principals, vice-principals, these are the people who are responsible in supervising the implementation of the education policies of this country, they are the ones who hold institutional knowledge."

Maika Namudu says his members are stressed about losing their jobs and he doesn't know how they will survive.

Doctors, nurses and personnel at the Works, Public Utilities and Energy Ministries are also among the almost two thousand government workers having to retire.