A state of panic reigns within state schools, according to UPE

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of The Workers said it has been receiving reports from its members that the first day of school has been characterised by ‘panic due to the state of unpreparedness in which state schools are found.’

In a statement, UPE said that reports have comprised complaints of alleged dirty classrooms and chaotic setups, staffrooms are crammed with desks going completely against the social distancing protocols.

The union mentioned one particular case, where a room, that is supposed to host a maximum of 6 adults with social distancing in mind, has been reported to be hosting 30 educators.

UPE said it received several reports from LSEs claiming that while seating arrangements were made to cater for students and the teachers, no such arrangement was contemplated for LSEs.

Internet connections have also been reported as being extremely unstable and educators have not been in a position to connect to platforms to continue with their work. 

The UPE said it is keeping a watchful eye on the current situation and is calling on the Minister to get things sorted out as soon as possible so as to ensure a safe and adequate working environment for its members.

The Union has also called upon its members to report any unsafe conditions going against the protocols, and to support their reports with photographic evidence, so that the Union can flag such issues with the Ministry.

Minister remotely joined and spoke to more than 200 new teachers

Minister for Education and Employment Owen Bonnici joined an online session and spoke remotely with teachers who will begin teaching from this year, before the new scholastic year.

For this scholastic year there will be 201 new teachers, which is more than the previous year and the year before.

Photo by DOI: Clifton Fenech

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought lives to a standstill across the world. You have embarked on a journey and will be starting this journey in difficult circumstances, however, there is support, therefore you need to reach out whenever you require. We need to continue to be flexible and care for each other and most importantly to care for our students while educating them to face and overcome daily challenges,” said Minister Bonnici.