27 Jul 2006

Tonga teachers spokesperson says government mismanaging teacher recruitment

7:45 pm on 27 July 2006

The President of the Friendly Teachers Association in Tonga says the government has mismanaged the recruiting of new teachers.

56 teachers have started work in Tonga's schools just weeks after 227 staff took redundancy as the government moved to cut back the size of the public service.

Finau Tutone says the new teachers, who will eventually number 85, are non qualified or have been brought back from retirement.

Mr Tutone says the goverment should have allowed the experienced teachers to have their old jobs back and says its decision not to do so is an attempt to punish them for their part in last year's strikes.

"I think they do not want to reemploy redundant teachers. I think that this is a sincere redundant programme. Some of it will be the kind of feeling they had from last year's strike. Because if they really wanted to help the country's education, they would bring back the experienced one to continue on."

The President of the Friendly Teachers Association, Finau Tutone.