Adventist Church locked in legal dispute with Fiji government
POSTED |22 Jun 2019
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fiji is locked in a legal dispute with the Fiji government following the Church’s decision to privatize Vatuvonu Adventist High School.
The government has commenced legal proceedings against the Church in the High Court. The case will return to court on May 13.
The issue began earlier this month after the Church’s Executive Committee announced that it would be closing Vatuvonu Adventist High School—on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second largest island—at the end of Term 1, due to the Fiji Ministry of Education’s refusal to appoint Adventist staff to the school.
A few days later, the Executive Committee announced that the school would remain open, and a Seventh-day Adventist principal and teachers would be appointed. To achieve this outcome, the Church would privatize the school, which meant that it would need to introduce student fees as the Fiji government would be withdrawing the Free Education Grant.
On April 15, High Court proceedings were commenced by the Attorney-General’s office against Vatuvonu school and the Adventist Church. The orders block the closure of the school and prevent the Church having any say on the government’s appointment of the principal or staff.