The Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts has noted the confirmation of Government’s zero tolerance policy on corporal punishment from Justice Anjala Wati wherein she emphasizes that corporal punishment is assault. As required, the Ministry complies with the Child Welfare Act and reports incidents to the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.
The Ministry also reports cases of assault to the Fiji Police Force.
The Ministry operates on the basis of employment law; the Fiji Police Force in terms of criminal law.
The judgment from Justice Wati emphasized that the Ministry, as an employer, is within its rights to dismiss an employee where they have assaulted student.
She also reinforced that assault is a crime under the Crimes Act as has the Director of Public Prosecutions in a media release on 3 October 2019.
The same incident is treated in two different ways via employment and criminal law.