26 Jul 2006

Tonga's Ministry of Education to hire 85 new teachers to fill gaps left by redundancy

3:41 pm on 26 July 2006

Tonga's Ministry of Education wants to hire 85 new teachers to fill some of the vacancies left by the 227 staff and teachers who accepted the government's voluntary redundancy package.

The Director of Education, Viliami Takau, told Matangi Tonga that they knew at the beginning of June that they would need the extra teachers by the end of that month.

But, he says it was agreed with the Public Service Commission not to recall the teachers who had accepted the redundancy package and instead recruit new ones.

The director says they have already recruited 56 new teachers, and he was optimistic that within one to two weeks they would have resolved the anomalies over the shortages.

It's reported that the shortage has left schools with bigger classes, cancelled classes and increased stress on both teachers and students.

In one primary school on Western Tongatapu, the six teachers had been reduced to only two after the redundancy programme.