by Inoke Rabonu - Fiji Sun

Get your sons and grandsons to work hard in school and earn a teaching profession because there is a shortage of male teachers.

That was the message echoed by the Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Premila Kumar, during a talanoa session with school managers in Ovalau earlier this week.

While responding to queries from concerned managers regarding the teacher-gender imbalance, the minister said 69 per cent of teachers in the education system were female.

Around 30 per cent of teachers in the country are males.

Ms Kumar was told that sometimes the students were disrespectful to the female teachers.

She then reminded the school managers that respect started from home and that was where students needed to be taught the value of respecting women.

“Women are mothers, they raise children, they know better than anyone else. Whether they are running the school, running the kitchen or they are running the country. They are doing a good job and let us not underestimate women,” she said.

“But the point I want to make here is that you want an equal number of men and women in school, what can we do when there are not enough male teachers?

Ms Kumar urged the school managers to encourage their sons and grandsons to study hard and become teachers so that there would be gender balance in the teaching profession.

“The other area of concern is, I find that around almost 69 per cent of teachers are female. But when it comes to leadership roles men are more, women less.”