27 Jul 2006

Tonga gets new teachers after redundancy losses

3:07 pm on 27 July 2006

56 new teachers have started work in Tonga's schools just weeks after 227 staff and teachers left on a voluntary redundancy package.

The President of the Friendly Teachers Association says the new teachers who will eventually number 85, are non qualified or have been brought back from retirement.

Finau Tutone says the government has mismanaged the situation by not allowing experienced teachers to get their old jobs back.

The Director of Education, Viliami Takau, told Matangi Tonga that he directed the Public Services Commission not to recall those teachers who had accepted the redundancy package and instead recruit new ones.

But Mr Tutone says that has left children being taught by teachers who are not suitable for the job.

"Some of them were not trained for that particular field that they are put in, like the science of mathematics. They just try to grab somebody and fill the gap without realising that person lack the expertise and training that is needed. They only emphasize to see the physical body is there."

The President of the Friendly Teachers Association, Finau Tutone says following the redundancy some class sizes have reached 70, with classes of different ages and levels being taught together.