The Federation of English Language Teaching Organisations Malta (FELTOM) has defended the measures taken by the schools it represents in the wake of revelations that a number of students have tested positive for Covid-19; but strongly condemned the union that made the news public for its behaviour.
Last Sunday, the Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers revealed that students at a language school, which it refused to name, had tested positive for Covid-19, and that it advised union members working at the school to self-isolate and get tested as soon as possible.
FELTOM said that it was treating the present situation “with extreme seriousness and caution,” and that schools were being asked to follow strict guidelines and protocols.
The federation has also decided to cancel the annual parties it hosts for minor students, stating that even though precautionary measures could be put in place, “we did not wish to sacrifice the reputation of the country and its salability as a safe and serious destination in the way it is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Consequently, FELTOM joined many other individuals and organisations in calling for a stop to all forms of mass gatherings, deeming their encouragement as “outright irresponsible and short-sighted.”
Federation insists union should stop ‘pathetic sensationalism’
But the federation also made a point of criticising the UPE, calling on its executive head Graham Sansone “to stop taking personal advantage out of the situation through pathetic sensationalism.”
“Contrary to what UPE try to suggest, FELTOM’s interest remains that of protecting the EFL industry and its member schools that are constantly abiding by all guidelines and protocols,” it said.
FELTOM added that its member schools had been advised to follow guidelines on the use of masks and social distancing before the publication of official protocols by the health authorities, and that their position was that such guidelines should be followed even if they are no longer enforced.
“UPE’s sensationalism and selfish attitude risk the very industry that employs teachers and administrative staff,” it insisted.