Six more retired teachers are set to depart for Nauru in November-December following the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Fiji Volunteer Service and the Republic of Nauru in Suva today.
The MOA was signed by Permanent Secretary for the Public Service, Parmesh Chand and His Excellency, Jarden Kepas, High Commissioner of the Republic of Nauru in the presence of Fiji’s Roving Ambassador Litia Mawi.
The six will be the second lot of Fiji retirees to be deployed under the Fiji Volunteer Service scheme following the departure of 12 teachers to the Marshall Island in September.
In signing the MOA, Chand said the scheme is in line with the “Rethink Oceania” vision that was reaffirmed during the Engaging with the Pacific leaders forum in August and derived its roots from the National Employment Centre Decree 2009.
He further said an Expression of Interest based on the needs of the Nauru Govt would be put out for interested teachers after which selection will be made.
“We will then prepare the selected six before they are dispatched.”
The Fiji Volunteer Scheme and the Govt of the Republic of Nauru will meet costs to see the initiative through which includes payment of allowances, salaries, return airfares, transportation, and accommodation for the traveling retirees.
All six teachers will be given an initial contract of two years which will be reviewed and extended based on the education needs of the Nauru Govt.
Kepas expressed the Nauru Govt’s appreciation to the FVS, PSC and the Fiji Govt for the helping hand particularly in the education sector which had been overlooked because of the emphasis placed on phosphate mining.
“In the past our priority was the phosphate mining. We thought as long as we have phosphate mining our future is in good hands. But, now with phosphate mining coming to an end we have now realised that education is the future,” Kepas said.
“And because education was not taken seriously then, we lack qualified teachers. So we are appreciative of any assistance to revive and improve our education sector.
“We are glad this scheme has come about to enable us to tap into. We are thankful to the government of Fiji.”
Meanwhile, Chand said the deployment of teachers including the 12 who left for the Marshall Island is a short-term one focused to help develop teachers in the two island countries.
“Our target for this year was to send 15-20 teachers and we have done this with 18 teachers to be deployed overseas and 19 attached locally.”
By Lavenia Vuadreu