Convent rooms converted into classrooms as Church schools prepare to reopen

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A number of convents across the country have had rooms converted into classrooms as Malta’s 55 Church schools prepare to welcome 17,000 students for the next scholastic year in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic.

The Archdiocese of Malta confirmed the measure in the wake of an online seminar in which Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi held an online seminar with the over 150 educators which will be working in Church schools for the first time.

It said that it embarked on a considerable expense to ensure that the health and safety of students and staff at Church schools is safeguarded in the coming scholastic year, with extensive works – including the setting up of additional classrooms in convents – being carried out over the summer.

At the seminar, Bishop Galea-Curmi emphasised that Church schools were defined by five main characteristics, including a vision inspired by faith which is brought forward by the words and actions of the educators working within. He added that since Catholics believed in the sanctity of life at all its stages, one of the schools’ main aims was to empower their students by helping them develop their talents and abiltiies.

The Bishop observed that Catholic schools needed to provide a holistic formation, including by setting aside time for prayer and religious celebration, so that they would not just help their students develop academically but also help them address key questions.

He highlighted Church schools’ efforts in favour of inclusivity, with due respect provided for diversity. Students, he said, should be guided away from individualistic behaviour in favour of building a sense of community, in which others’ needs are recognised and everyone helped one another.

Bishop Galea Curmi also emphasised the importance of the Church’s social teaching, including the need to bring about a just society with due attention paid to those who may be suffering.