The Ministry has developed an interim process for all volunteer activities in schools, while a policy is being finalised.
This is to ensure that school activities are not disrupted, and that liability issues are appropriately managed.
This process became effective on 22 May 2019 (see MEHA Circular 45-19).
All Volunteers must be approved by the Permanent Secretary before entering a School.
Volunteers cannot simply work in a school with the approval of a School Head or other representative.
Who Must Comply with the Process
All new volunteers and anyone extending their volunteer placement must also comply with this procedure.
Even if you have entered an MOU with the Ministry, you must comply with this process.
How to Apply:
To volunteer with the Ministry you must comply with the requirements of MEHA Circular 45-19. Supply the documents in the Volunteer Checklist (please note that paragraph d of the checklist relating to police checks is now replaced by the Police Check Policy-Volunteers)
Allow three weeks for all requests to be considered.
After MEHA Approval
Once you have an approval you can apply for FTRA registration and may be a pre-requisite for your visa.
All FTRA registration queries should be directed to the FTRA on 3100125/3311175 or via email at email@example.com.
Visa and permit queries should be directed to Fiji Immigration (http://www.immigration.gov.fj/)
You will also be sent relevant documents to sign and return prior to entering the School.
What volunteers is the Ministry seeking?
We seek volunteers in areas of the following scarce skills:
Support for Special Education Students
- Speech Pathology
- Training of teachers
- Braille skills and knowledge
- Sign language and interpreting skills
- Teachers’ aides
- Mainstream Integration Officer
- Job-Placement Officer
- Child Psychologist
- Occupational Therapist
- Agricultural Science
- Home Economics
- Industrial Arts
Once the policy is in place, an annual announcement of the Ministry’s volunteer needs will be made.
How long does FTRA registration take?
If you provide all the necessary details with your application form, registration should take around one week from the time the FTRA receives the documentation—assuming the FTRA is not experiencing a higher than usual demand.
Please note that failing to provide all necessary documentation (visa, medical check, police check) will delay your registration request.
Is there a list of teaching qualifications suitable for FTRA registration?
The FTRA assesses teaching qualifications on a case-by-case basis.
The FTRA works with the Fiji Higher Education Commission to verify teaching qualifications obtained outside Fiji.
What visa do I need?
You must have a visa that permits you to volunteer in Fiji.
Failure to provide an appropriate visa will delay your FTRA registration.
Do I need FTRA registration?
All volunteers must have appropriate registration with the FTRA. The need for registration and type of registration depends on the nature of the activity being undertaken.
I want to build, renovate or donate. What do I need to do?
Please provide a scope of work for any building or renovation work. Also outline who will do the work and their qualifications.
For donations of any sort, please provide a detailed list of the items you plan to donate.
Please note that:
– reading books must be age appropriate. Please list the titles you propose giving so that our libraries section can assess their suitability.
– second-hand goods must be in near new condition. Second-hand electrical goods will not be accepted, with the exception of second-hand computers. Please provide the age of the computer, make, model, programs installed and other details for assessment by the IT unit.
I want to coach/teach/mentor/train students or teachers. What should I provide?
Please provide a copy of the proposed program and as much details as possible.
All proposals must align with the Fiji curriculum and meet Ministry policy requirements.
Can I photograph/video/record children?
No. You must have the permission of the School Head and the Parent/Guardian of the child for every instance. There are also strict requirements about the manner in which children can be recorded/filmed/photographed:
Assess and comply with local traditions or restrictions regarding the reproduction of images
- An explanation as to how the photograph, recording or film will be used shall be provided by the person taking the photograph or film. In keeping with the rights of the child, where the child is of an age to understand the use of photograph, recording or film their permission (along with their Parent or Guardian) must be obtained to utilize the photographs for marketing.
- Ensure photographs, films, videos, DVDs and recordings present children in a dignified and respectful manner and not in a vulnerable or submissive manner.
- Ensure that in photographs or videos the people including children are adequately clothed and are not presented in poses that could be seen as sexually suggestive or otherwise sexually vulnerable. Naked or semi naked photos may not be used of either adults or children.
- Pictures, images, or other likenesses of children and/or information related to children that could compromise their care and protection will not be made available through any form of communication media without proper protection and understanding of their use.
- Images should not be used to promote a marketing agenda which is not endorsed (by written approval) by the Parents/Guardians
- Moreover, any images of children should not be accompanied by detailed information relating to their place of residence. Images with corresponding text which may identify a child should be removed.
- Vulnerable or at risk children who do not have a Parent or Guardian are not to be photographed without the written permission of the Director of Social Welfare, Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.
- Where possible, try to avoid taking photographs or film of children’s faces (if they are not with their parent or guardian), rather, take photos or film from behind the child, or at the side in profile, or set the scene so the children cannot be easily identified (e.g. focus the lens on the main objective and blur the edges where the children are gathered around).
- Images, film or recordings should be destroyed or removed from public circulation in any means if requested by the Student, Parent, Guardian, School Head or Ministry representative.
You should seek permission as part of your request, and the relevant forms will be arranged with the School if your volunteer request is approved.