Disappointment over appointment of foreign retired teacher as principal

Baldwin Lonsdale Memorial School Council is not happy that a foreign retired teacher has been chosen over many qualified locals to head the school

The Baldwin Lonsdale Memorial School Council on Vanualava has voiced its concern over the appointment of a foreign retired teacher to head the school instead of a local.

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), through the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and the Torba Education Board have overlooked many qualified locals from occupying this key position in the school, said the Chairman of the School Council, Clifton Lonsdale.

“The government should not exclude locals,” he said.

“This is not right. The government must realize that there are locals in the country and also from our province (Torba) who can fill the position.

“The foreign retired teachers were brought in to meet the country’s desperate teacher shortage but should not be taking away jobs from locals.”

Lonsdale said the school council has already agreed on the removal of the foreign principal and has forwarded minutes and resolutions of its decision to education authorities.

“We decided that he should remain just an ordinary teacher,” he said.

“We have requested his removal in a complaint submitted to the relevant authorities but no change has been made.

“He is still occupying the position for three years now.

“Also we had a petition signed by all teachers of both cycle primary and secondary level at the school.”

In his response to the complaint from the school council, Chairman of TSC, Derek Alexander, said the retired teacher has more experience and is qualified to occupy the position.

However, the Director General (DG) of the MOET, Bergsman Iati, supported the complaint of the school council.

He revealed the appointment of the retired teacher as principal of the biggest secondary school in Torba Province was made without his and the minister of education’s consent.

“If it’s true that a foreign retired teacher is heading the school in Torba, then TSC had bypass our consent,” he said. “We are not aware of this but we will deal with it.

“I, as the DG have refused to sign the contracts for the foreign retired teachers. I want the Teacher’s Management Unit to tell me that the reason for us recruiting them is we truly lack teachers for certain subjects.

“These retired teachers were taken in to help with subjects that are difficult to teach such as math and science.

“The government should be filling up key positions in schools with qualified locals instead of looking abroad.

“We have locals capable of administering schools.”

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