Public Report on the unlawful suspension of a secondary school teacher by Mr. Antoine Thyna and the Teaching Service Commission – June 26, 2000 - Emalus Campus
Mr. A is a qualified teacher with an abundance of experience teaching various subjects at several schools in Vanuatu. He had been a teacher from 1983 (with minor interruptions) until he was suspended in 1998. There is no suggestion in the Ombudsman’s report that Mr. A had been subject to any disciplinary proceedings during his teaching career.
The Director of Secondary Education, Mr. Antoine Thyna suspended Mr. A in 1998. This suspension took place in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of the Teaching Service Act. The suspension of a teacher is a matter for the Teaching Service Commission and the Minister of Education, not the Director of Secondary Education. A proper suspension would have occurred only after giving Mr. A an opportunity to learn of the reasons for the suspension and to respond to them. The suspension of Mr. A was therefore unjust and contrary to the Teaching Service Act.
Despite repeated requests from the Ombudsman, the Teaching Service Commission was unable to produce a complete personnel file for Mr. A. It was found by the Ombudsman that the administrative practice of the Teaching Service Commission was defective in this regard.
· That Mr. A be paid salary for the period that he was not served with notice in writing of his termination.
· That the Teaching Service Commission and Mr. Thyna accept responsibility for any compensation claim that Mr. A may request from the Ministry of Education based on maladministration, negligence and breaches of the Teaching Service Act.
· That the Ministry of Education provide copies of the Teaching Service Act to all senior staff of the Ministry of Education to use as a guide for their work.
· That Mr. Thyna and the Executive Secretary of the Teaching Service Commission write a letter of apology to Mr. A for the undue stress and injustice inflicted upon him for the duration of his suspension.
Written by Edward R. Hill
UNDP Governance and Accountability Project
© Ombudsman of Vanuatu
Published here by University of the South Pacific, School of Law Web Site - www.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj