Pudina sent to Education Ministry by teacher’s union

Pudina sent to Education Ministry by teacher's union
Nov 3 2021 Share

The Education Ministry received a ‘pudina’ by a teacher’s union following the student-teacher blunder which characterized the launch of the new scholastic year. Frank Fabri, the Education Ministry’s permanent secretary, received the pudding, with the Union of Professional Educator’s executive head Graham Sansone stating that ‘it is [the union’s] great privilege and honor to award […] the coveted Pudina Prize.’ Sansone continued; ‘The UPE today delivered a ‘Pudina’ to Dr Fabri as a gesture to help him realize that his latest maneuver is unwarranted in the eyes of the union and of many prospective student-teachers.’

This comes after many student-teachers were suddenly given the responsibility of running different primary school classes rather than those they were originally assigned. This occurred despite the countless work they had to prepare in the preceding weeks and to make up for the shortage of teachers. They were also informed of this just a week before the commencement of their practice, with Sansone saying, sarcastically, that this is a ‘wonderful marketing strategy created by the Ministry to attract more educators to the sector’. This will also not be the last time such a stunt is pulled off, as the union stated that there is likely to be a bread shortage in the coming days as more prizes are delivered.


Photo Source: Frank Fabri FB, Lea Hogg

PN promises to sponsor a charging pillar for every 50 parking spots

Nov 3 2021 Share

The Nationalist Party has said that it would sponsor a charging pillar for every 50 parking spots in private parks were it to be elected to government. This was revealed by MP David Thake on Tuesday, stating that the PN’s strategy is clear and that they want everyone from as many localities as possible to have access to these charging spots. Thake said that Minister Miriam Dalli ‘invented’ the claim that 60% of electric car owners would charge their car at home, despite the shortage of pillars being addressed by government when it announced that 362 charging spots will be up-and-running by this year’s end.

PN MP Robert Cutajar spoke about the COP26 climate change conference, saying that despite its size, Malta should be a leader on climate change. Cutajar recounted the PN proposal for pedestrian areas and tree mapping in all localities. He praised them as positive measures which will help the environment. Another new proposal by the Opposition is the commissioning of a beach profiling study which will help the government plan and better manage coasts and beaches.

Another proposal sees sites managed by NGOs to be legally transferred to them, with Cutajar saying that the Labour government wasted nine years in the pledge for decarbonization. This meant that the government had no choice but to negotiate the decarbonization rate from 3% to 19%. Janice Chetcuti, the PN’s head of the working group on environmental policies, said that a lot is to be done in order to limit the temeprature increase globally. The aim is to achieve global net zero until the middle of this century in order to keep global temperatures from rising over 1.5 degrees Celsius.


COVID-19 measures in Netherlands tighten again due to spike

COVID-19 measures in Netherlands tighten again
Nov 3 2021 Share

As coronavirus cases in Netherlands shoot up, the prime minister has announced on Tuesday that the Dutch government is reinstituting an order to wear ace masks in public places such as stores and libraries, along with extending mandatory use of COVID-19 passes. The number of cases have spiked rapidly in the Netherlands for weeks, with the country’s public health institute reporting on Tuesday that confirmed infections rose 39% compared to the week before.

Hospital admissions were up 31% to 834 with a 20% increase in the number of patients admitted to ICU. The upward trend began after the government halted the remaining lockdown restrictions in late September. Prime Minister Rutte said during a press conference that it won’t surprise anybody that a tough message needs to be announced yet again. ‘Tough because we unfortunately have to ask more of people now that the infection numbers and hospital numbers are rising quickly.’

Rutte urged everyone to work from home at least half the time, to socially distance and to avoid travel to busy places and during rush hours. Students too will have to wear face masks at school when they walk between classes. Museums and theme parks will have to require people showing COVID passes as well.


Mums’ Christmas gift initiative is teaching kids the value of ‘giving’

Mum's Christmas gift initiative is teaching kids the value of 'giving'
Nov 3 2021 Share

A Christmas initiative by the name of Toys for Tots Malta, launched two weeks ago, has already reached around 1,500 supporters as it seeks to make the Christmas of kids all across Malta a very special one. An initiative brain-child of three mothers, the aim is to teach little ones from a young age the values of compassion and kindness to one another through example. ‘Receiving gifts is nice but GIVING is much more rewarding! says Alison Amato Lowell, one of the mums who created the initiative.

So how does it work? One has to first choose a wish or a gift – these can be checked for on the wish list, where people can book with their name, mobile number and tag number via a private message. The second step involves experience, as the initiative encourages those who care for kids (whether its a son/daughter, nephew/niece, grandchild, etc.) to go shopping and explain why the value of giving is so important. ‘Let them help you choose the gift for this special’, with the organizers encouraging those who take upon the task to share photos and videos of the kind gesture.

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Next, wrap up the gift, get it labelled (following the guidelines) and then drop it off to one of the verified locations. The gifts are dropped off  at a Maypole shop in different localities around Malta and Gozo between Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 14:00.  Finally, one simply needs to spread the word and share this wonderful initiative. The latest drop off date will be the 1st of December, after which gifts will be sorted and distributed accordingly just in time for Christmas.

There are several organizations and entities helping in this initiative, including ‘Dar Merhba Bik, Dar Santa Bakhita, Fondazzjoni Sebh, The Church Schools Children’s Fund, Mater Dei’s Disneyland, Wonderland and Fairyland wards, The Young People’s Unit at Mount Carmel Hospital, Richmond Foundation (KIDS Programme) and AWAS Malta amongst others. Along with Gianella Giordano and Melinda Agius, Alison seeks to make this festive season a special one where no kid is left behind and teach them the wonderful values of giving.

If you are interested, you can find more information here.