The Fiji Council of Churches has weighed in on the debate and supports the views of its member churches and other faith communities – that the Ministry of Education in consultation with Faith-Based Organisations, select qualified teachers of the same faith, to head their respective educational institutions.
The Fiji Council of Churches fully supports the statements by Archbishop Peter Loy Chong Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Fiji, in the past week.
The Fiji Council of Churches says the collective consultations highlighted the complications caused by the Ministry mainly because of the changes brought about under the Open Merit Recruitment and selection system.
In the past 50 years, the President of the Fiji Council of Churches, Rev. Dr Tevita Bainivanua says that the Christian and other Faith-Based Organisations with the help of the Ministry, selected suitable head teachers and principals who would ensure that the ethos of the Christian and other Faith-Based educational institutions have been core to the moral and value foundation of Fijians who attended them, regardless of ethnicity or religious background.
Reverend Dr Bainivanua says that the argument to retain the Merit Recruitment and selection system because Fiji is a secular state as enshrined in the Constitution is based on a very narrow and biased interpretation.
He adds the religious background of a potential head of school is not about favoritism or nepotism, but an added value in terms of understanding and subscribing to the ethos, principles and values which the Government has acknowledged mant times.