How can a PE teacher teach English and Maths? – Confusion as schools reopen

 - COVID-19 - Sep 28 SHARE ON:
How can a PE teacher teach English and Maths?

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

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Rugby player Liam ‘Il-Babaw’ begins his road to recovery after successful shoulder operation

 - Local - Sep 28 SHARE ON:

Back in August, Maltese rugby player by the name of Liam Scicluna known as ‘Il-Babaw’ tore his supraspinatus tendon, an injury which halted his participation in the sport which he truly loved. The required shoulder operation would have cost Scicluna a pretty penny, which is why the player went ahead and created a ‘GoGetFunding’ fundraiser page to fund the critical shoulder operation.

In a series of heart-warming posts, Scicluna called for the participation and donation of the Maltese population in order to allow him to continue the sport and represent the island in the best way possible, a call which won the hearts of many. Together with the help of his friends, family, local media personalities like Jon Mallia and St. Thomas Hospital, Babaw went on to raise enough money for a successful operation.

As the rugby player kicks off his road to recovery, he went on to thank everyone involved in the build-up to his operation. We wish Liam a speedy recovery and take this opportunity to celebrate the grit and generosity of the Maltese people, who united to help a fellow citizen get back to doing what he loves and represent the Maltese flag in the best way possible.

Jon Mallia himself took to Facebook to break down the story from his point of view and congratulate the player and his friends for doing their utmost to help their colleague in his time of need, along with St. Thomas Hospital for the co-operation.

Send this to someone who was following Liam’s story.



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School counselling help kids with anxiety and COVID fears

 - COVID-19 - Sep 28 SHARE ON:
School counselling help kids with anxiety and COVID fears

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit and flipped everyone’s life upside down, a service run by the Malta Trust Foundation called ‘Blossom Counselling’ provided psychosocial support to around 1,500 students and their families. The counsellors working with the foundation supported over 400 students at St Paul’s Bay and Qawra primary schools and Naxxar Middle school, extending its services to Birzebbuga’s primary this year. 630 students from 40 countries will benefit from this service, receiving financial support from the Malta Freeport Terminals and the Malta Freeport Corporation. 

An increase in anxiety and panic attacks among 11 to 12-year-olds whose parents separated was noted, Isabelle Anastasi reported. Despite already supporting 45 children from the Naxxar Middle School, her and her colleagues tried reaching out to another 800 during lockdown. Anastasi revealed how they called at their home and kept in touch with families, noting everything from financial issues to domestic violence increases. 

Anastasi emphasised eating problems among girls, as well as self-harm. Kids who lost relatives due to COVID-19 grew increasingly fearful during the pandemic, leading to long supportive phone calls. Anastasi also reported a surprising openness towards support, which usually takes longer. 

Fellow counsellors set up in different schools reported anxiety spikes related to the pandemic, from fear for relatives to anxiety related to following rigid rules. Blossom Counselling also extended their support to students who moved to Malta from abroad to adjust to their new environment. Rita Galea, counsellor based in St Paul’s Bay and Qawra primaries, recalled family members stopping their work to support their children, leading to financial issues. 


Photo Source: Blossom Counselling FB, Treetops Hospice

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15-year old motorcycle racer dies after crash

 - News - Sep 28 SHARE ON:

15-year old racer Dean Berta Viñales has died after a fatal crash in the Jerez race of the Supersport 300 World Championships. The young driver is the cousin of Maverick Viñales who is a MotoGP racer racing for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. Dean who was born on the 20th of April in 2006 was having a good season for his first season in professional motorsport.



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The race had only been going for 11 years, when the young Spaniard crashed along with three other drivers in turn 2 of the track. This caused the race director to red flag the race. In a statement World Superbike said “After a serious incident during WorldSSP300 Race 1, Dean Berta Viñales has sadly succumbed to injuries,” they continued on by saying “The rider suffered severe head and thoracic injuries. Medical vehicles arrived at the site immediately and the rider was attended to on track, in the ambulance and at the circuit Medical Centre. Despite the best efforts of the circuit medical staff, the Medical Centre has announced that Berta Viñales has sadly succumbed to his injuries.”


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