TAM condemns Education Ministry’s decision to reassign principal accused of sexual harassment to another school

Malé, Maldives – The Teachers’ Association of Maldives (TAM) and Public Interest Law Center (PILC) on Thursday, has expressed concern over the Education Ministry decision on a sexual harassment case against principal of Izzuddin School.

After an investigation from the relevant committee of the Education Ministry, the committee came to the conclusion that the principal is guilty of sexually harrassing 6 teachers at the school. The Ministry changed the principal to another, higher level school. The teachers who submitted the complaint have also been changed to another school, without any consultation.

Teachers’ Association of Maldives released a statement saying that they are deeply concerned by the decision of the ministry. The association stated that they highly convict the decision from the ministry to promote the principal to a higher position whilst a case of sexual harrasment has been proven against him.

The association added that the ministry who is responsible for the victims, has treated them unjustly and has violated the law on sexual harrasment. TAM called out the ministry to overturn their current decision on the case and prioritize the victims rather than promoting the alleged.

Public Interest Law Center (PILC) also released a statement, expressing similar concerns on the issue. The teachers who submitted the complaint to the ministry were legally represented by PILC. They stated that the victims have not been informed of any action taken and that the alleged principal has been changed to a higher school. PILC stated that they believe that the action taken by the ministry is more of a promotion, rather than a punishment.

PILC also stated that the employees who submitted the complaints have also been transferred to another school, while the authority previously wrote to Ministry of Education and Civil Service Comission requesting not to do so.

Quoting the law on sexual harrasment, PILC stated that the law calls for the job if a witness or victim if sexual harrasment to be not affected by such a a case investigation. The law also stated that the employer must work in a way such that no further harm is done to the victim.

PILC stated that the ministry decision to transfer the teacher without their consent was unjust and that such decisions may incite fear among others, making them reluctant to submit such complaints in the future.