The displacement of it’s preferred candidates for leadership positions prevents Church schools from providing quality Education and undermines Human and Constitutional Rights.
This is the statement from the President of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Reverend Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa.
Reverend Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa says this action by Government also restricts the rights of the Church which are protected under Section 4 (3) C of the Constitution.
Before the third school term last year, the Methodist Church records for its 17 Primary Schools and 14 Secondary Schools, 3 Methodist Schools were headed by non-Christian Principals, appointed apparently on merit.
In the third term alone four more schools were affected, again Principals were transferred there on merit.
Reverend Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa says that Faith-based institutions own majority of schools in Fiji and have been educationg Fijian citizens for over a hundred years.
The Methodist Church President adds they have been told in public statements from the Education Ministry to pay for the Principals and teachers if they want to have a say in whom they get.
Presumably they are partners with the Government who pay operating and minimal development costs but the Church established the schools and infrastructure costing them millions of dollars.
He said that the Methodist Church is keen to have qualified members as school heads but also to have the majority of teachers as members.
The reasons behind this is because the school leaders are the ones who decide finally what is done in school in religious matters and they must believe in this themselves.
Students look up to the head and teachers as role models including observance of their values and belief system.
Dr Vakadewavosa stresses that it is critical that the religious groups which are obliged to educate their members holistically can re-establish their status rather than be outwitted by the hasty decision of officials who should be serving them.