In order to fulfil its pledge to employ 900 new teachers in three years, the Fiji government has lowered their starting salary by about 35%. Its rationalisation for this is that teachers need to prove that they can face a class before they are given the proper salary - yet another iteration of performance related pay.

The Fiji Teachers Union (FTU) is outraged by this, and points out that teacher training courses in colleges and universities are of a high standard and fully equip graduates to enter the classroom, including both practical and theoretical education. Ironically the Education Minister was previously the dean of Fiji National University - one of the main institutions for training teachers.

An FTU press release says that new teachers going to the islands to teach are having to seek assistance from credit unions and 'shedding tears' because they 'know how they are being exploited by the education ministry.' It also rightly points out that Fiji's system is going backwards to a time when there were two classes of teachers, licensed teachers and civil servants. It is a very similar situation to that suffered by many teachers particularly in the global South on temporary contracts.

This move by the Fiji government, which is a comparatively wealthy country, is a clear illustration of the toxic combination of education cuts, performance related pay and lip service to the importance of education - all prominent features of the Global Education 'Reform' Movement.