Ministry should develop an Act – Chong

Archbishop Peter Loy Chong during a mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral. has stated that the church has set up a Pastoral Response to COVID-19 plan in a bid to assist those affected. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

THE head of the Catholic Church in Fiji, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong, says the Education Ministry should develop an Act which documents agreements made with faith-based organisations and communities.

The Archbishop said this should be done to ensure the stability and security of faith-based schools.

He said last year, the ministry made a number of verbal agreements with religious organisations and one was that appointments, promotions and transfers of school heads through the open merit recruitment and selection (OMRS) system was to ensure that applicants with experience, demonstrated excellent quality performances and the ability to uphold and foster the ethos of a particular faith-based school were appointed.

“Therefore, we strongly request that appointments of school heads be made in consultation with the school management committee rather than the unilateral approach experienced by some faith-based organisations,” he said.

Archbishop Chong said the ministry had also given the school management committee the freedom to financially manage their schools as well as fundraise for their development projects.

Thus, he said the ministry did not respect the principle of subsidiarity.

“The faith-based organisations and communities are experiencing the MOE’s absolute control and dominance over the financial system leaving no room for the school management committee to use their resources and creativity.”

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