2022 General Election: NFP reveals list of policies

National Federation Party candidate, Agni Deo Singh. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

All civil servants need to be put on tenure instead of being held to contract terms, says National Federation Party (NFP) candidate Agni Deo Singh.

He said this was part of the list of policies formulated for the education sector should NFP be voted into power.

A retired teacher and unionist, Mr Singh said teachers in the country were badly demoralised.

“All civil servants need to be put on tenure and there have to be a very clear disciplinary guidelines with natural justice,” he said.

“If there is any allegation against any civil servant, there is an independent public service disciplinary tribunal, which is already in place to deal with it and not what is being done currently.”

He said using powers under the Constitution, the permanent secretaries became the “judge, jury and executioner” in civil servants’ matters.

“That’s not how employment matters are dealt with. Where there is a dispute, there must be a third party. Just like the police, they can charge you but they have to take you to court and an independent court will decide whether you are guilty or not so that all has to change.”

He said in the case of teachers, the NFP would also review all termination cases whereby the punishment did not fit the offence. He said this had led to the termination of talented teachers for minor offences.

Mr Singh said promotions would be based on qualifications, relevant experience and performance and that anomalies from the 2017 job evaluation exercise (JEE) would be addressed.

Mr Singh said NFP would also focus on strengthening delivery of Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) studies and bringing it to a standard which would provide necessary skills and training to strengthen the economy.

He also said NFP would review the annual assessment and reward system and leave policy, and teacher selection would be based on grades.

Early childhood teachers would be put on an annual salary, and executive teacher positions would be restored. Mr Singh also said there would be reviews of counselor positions, as well as boarding, transfer and location allowances.

Mr Singh said all teacher training qualifications such as Diploma in Tertiary Teaching and Secondary Teacher Training Certificate would be fully recognised and there would be regular consultations with stakeholders. The NFP will also formulate a teacher protection policy to protect interests, rights and welfare of teachers.

An Education Commission will also be set up to review the Education Ministry and its functions in the past 16 years.

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