Ministry of education must clarify the matter

A concerned student from Solomon Islands National University (SINU) Davidson Rilaua, expressed his disappointment with the ministry of education.

Mr Rilaua is a first-year in-service bachelor of teaching programme at SINU and will be completing his studies in April this year.

On behalf of his colleagues, including those who graduated in 2015 and those who will complete their studies this year, he expressed utter dismay in the response he received from the ministry of education.

Speaking to the paper yesterday, Mr Rilaua said that they submitted an application to the ministry of education regarding the readjustment of their salaries.

In regards to this, the ministry’s response was farfetched from one that was assuring.

He said the ministry did not consider their application and this was very disappointing for him and his colleagues.

Mr Rilaua mentioned that the ministry recognises the pre-service bachelor of teaching programme and wonders why their application was not considered given that both programmes have the same content.

He stated that he spoke to responsible education authorities from the education ministry only to be informed that the permanent secretary and committee did not consider their application because the content of their bachelor of teaching programme was lacking.

Mr Rilaua added that if that is the case, then the PS or minister must clarify their reasons on the matter.

“The ministry of education should look at the term “in-service” instead of “bachelor” because “in service” means that some areas of the bachelor teaching programme is already covered”, he said.

He also said that their lecturers are more than qualified to teach, have assessed the content of their courses and confirmed it to be of top standard for that particular programme.

The concerned student said that if they are told to do the pre-service programme which is a duration of 3yrs, it will only mean repeating what they have already learnt.

“Repeating the same thing all the time expects different outcomes, a definition of a term or word called “stupidity’’, he said.

In relation to this issue, Mr Rilaua shed some light on a case that involved the ministry and the Solomon Islands National University (SINU).

He said that there was a situation in which education authorities sent in their submission from SINU to the ministry of education containing payments which then would be forwarded to the finance ministry.

Unfortunately, Mr Rilaua said that did not happen because the submission was halted at the teaching service unit in the ministry of education.

He added that this happened because the ministry did not inform the education authorities about the issue of readjustment regarding the salaries of those in the in-service bachelor of teaching program.

Mr Rilaua mentioned that the responsible authorities from the ministry of education should not use verbal communication as means to respond but rather prove why the submitted application was not considered based on any education policy which caters to such cases that is if there is one.

Lastly, he stated that if the ministry of education itself does not want to consider their bachelor of teaching programme for readjustment regarding their salaries and refuse to properly explain why their submitted application was not considered, they will take legal action.

“Ready to challenge the issue on legal grounds,” he said.

Mr Rilaua urges the ministry to clarify the issue before April.

He also recommends the ministry of education to collaborate with SINU and stakeholders of the country to look into the matter.