By EDDIE OSIFELO
MINISTER of Education and Human Resources, Lanelle Tanangada has denied any mass termination of Solomon Islands National University staff.
Tanangada stated this in response to a question asked by Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale in Parliament yesterday.
About 123 academic staff and 107 support services staff are affected by the exercise.
This include 34 in Faculty of Education and Humanities, 29 in Faculty of Science and Technology, 17 in Faculty of Business and Tourism, 18 in Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science is 17 and Distant Flexible Learning is eight.
About 70 percent of these staffs are former staffs of the then Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE).
Almost 90 percent of them have a basic degree in teaching streams while large numbers in the TVET areas have only certificates.
The administrative departments were dominated by staff with diplomas and certificates.
She said there is no mass termination at SINU as claimed by media.
“What I understand based on advice being given by SINU management is notices have been issued to staffs whose contracts have ended and a recruitment exercise has been conducted to fill in the positions,” Tanangada explained.
“This is a normal university activity that administration conducts at the expiry of contracts of staff,” she added,
Furthermore, Tanangada explained that at the inception of SINU in 2013, it adopted a recruitment policy that required all staff recruited by SINU to be on a three-year contract.
She said previously staff were on continuing appointment, meaning it has an open-ended time frame.
Moreover, Tanangada said as SINU Council resolution dated June 22, 2015, all positions must be advertised in the open market before the contracts expired.
She said the rationale was to recruit staff that meet SINU minimum qualifications requirement known as MQR to teach at the university and upgrade to a level and quality of the programme that is taught at the university.
“Similarly positions in administrations and logistics support services at SINU are also advertised as to well-educated and competent persons.
“Up until now and owning to a variety of reasons such as allowing for a period of transitions, the recruitment policy was never previously adhered to and comply with,” she said.
Tanangada said following a period over eight years now as per SINU Council resolution, dated March 29, 2021, the management has now considered it most appropriate to execute the recruitment policy smoothly and seamlessly for purposes of upgrading the quality of the programmes offered at SINU and attracting competent administrative support staffs.
Tanangada said interviewing of applicants are currently ongoing and expect all positions in academic and non-academic to be filled at the start of second semester on August 8.
Parliament has adjourned for September 13, 2021.