The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will investigate corruption allegations made against the Ministry of Education by a private individual regarding the announcement of degree-level education for 2000 new teachers.
Speaking to Minivan News, ACC Information Officer Hassan Manik confirmed that an individual had filed a case, but refused to comment further on the ongoing investigation.
State Minister at the Education Ministry Dr Abdulla Nazeer, however, said that he was unaware of the case against the ministry, but that there was “some urgency” regarding the initiation of the degree programme.
After its president last week accused the ministry of intimidation following his criticism of recent changes to the sector, the Teacher’s Association of Maldives’ (TAM) has expressed concern over the ministry’s decisions, saying that a lot of teachers are concerned about job security.
“The association is concerned these abrupt decisions might have an impact on the education of the students as well. We sincerely request [the ministry] to refrain from making decisions which might weaken the profession, and cause some teachers to lose their jobs,” read a TAM press statement.
The opposition has suggested that the qualification-based salary changes have resulted in 1,200 teachers applying for diplomas at Malé’s Mandhu College. The college has since been given an eviction notice by the ministry for an alleged breach of its lease – claims the college denies.
The complaint to the ACC regarding the teacher training claims the January 22 announcement was constructed in a way which unlawfully favours certain bidders, reports Raajje.mv.
The individual claimed that, with a deadline of February 5, prospective bidders effectively had only 12 days to prepare their offers, which was not enough to provide a detailed financial plan for a programme involving such a number of students spanning five years.
While claiming that some elements included in the bidding process contravened accreditation regulations set out by the Maldives Qualifications Authority, the individual is said to have alleged that the ministry was colluding with a Malaysian university.
Meanwhile, the ministry has published the new regulations on the provision of additional training for workers in the education sector, alongside a matching allowance to the 2015 salary, opening up the application for additional training.
A ministry press statement outlined the selection criteria for the programme and the points system for applicants, while giving a deadline of March 2 for applications.
State Minister Nazeer explained that the 2000 students to participate in the degree programme are not to be confused with the 2000 teachers who are to undergo further studies in order to bring them up-to-date with new minimum qualifications for teachers set out by the education ministry.
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