As Education Minister Justyne Caruana assures the public that students in state schools will be returning to classrooms next Wednesday with the appropriate educators, Malta Teacher’s Union expressed concern about the lack of teachers. They revealed that they were not informed that peripatetic teachers were to be added to teach following the opening of 131 new classes.
Caruana said that out of these 500 peripatetic teachers, 81 were asked to teach primary classes whereas 22 of them offered to take up a class. With 103 peripatetic teachers in primary, Permanent Secretary expressed concern about MUT’s behaviour, stating that an agreement was in fact in place and denying that there are 150 primary school classes without a teacher.
Speaking on the matter, former editor at Times of Malta and online editor of MataToday Kurt Sansone asked how a PE teacher who never taught a primary class will be expected to captain English, Maltese, Mathematics and other Year 5 classes. He highlighted how the matter is made worse when considering that the teacher was informed over the weekend of such updates and expected to provide schemes of work according to the syllabus. He expressed his pity for these educators and for the students who will be educated by a lost teacher.
Comments about the situation also expressed concern. Some pointed out how finding educators is, and will become, more of a problem because ‘we have screwed up our economy.’ Pointing out how a tiler ‘probably earns 3 times as much what a teacher earns,’ a particular commenter argued that we are ‘rewarding low skilled jobs and penalising high skilled jobs. […] Instead of incentivising people to take up teaching or the caring professions we are bringing in cheap labour to substitute it.’
Photo Source: The Guardian, Justyne Caruana FB, Kurt Sansone FB