Education Ministry seeks to regularise employment of school social workers, contract officers

Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 13:00

The Ministry of Education says it is making efforts to regularise the employment of school social workers and contract officers.

The assurance comes via a statement issued to the media today.

"The Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education is giving the assurance that efforts are being made to regularise the short-term employment of school social workers and other contract officers at the Ministry.

In 2012, three hundred and nine secondary schools students received care from School Social Workers. In 2016 that number increased to 9,252 students. “We understand and appreciate the critical role played by our School Social Workers. They are key support in carrying out strategies for the continued decline of school violence and indiscipline,” said Minister Garcia.

While responding to questions in the Lower House alluding to the short-term employment of School Social Workers (12/04/2017), Minister Garcia said “There are seventy persons who are on short term employment.

The Ministry of Education has submitted a Note to the Public Management Consulting Division (PMCD) recommending the retention of these positions. As soon as we receive the reports from the PMCD, we will be taking a note to Cabinet to have these decisions or these recommendations ratified.”

Ministry officials also confirmed the submission of a Draft Cabinet Note for the renewal of the one hundred and forty-eight positions of School Social Workers and other positions within the Ministry. This request is currently engaging the attention of the Ministry of Public Administration and Communication, the line Ministry for the PMCD.

In addition the Ministry of Education is seeking to increase the number of School Social Workers and Senior School Social Workers, who play an integral role in supporting the success of the programmes and initiatives by the Student Support Services Division. Following the receipt of feedback from PMCD, the Note will be submitted to Cabinet for approval after which the positions will be filled in accordance with the guidelines for contract employment.

To facilitate continuity of service, persons throughout the Ministry who previously held contract positions were given short-term contracts. Payment of salaries to these officers are handled separately from the rest of the Ministry as their days of work have to be verified by their respective Heads of Department and submitted to Accounts for processing. These administrative procedures could result in a delay of salary payment."