Following the Malta Union of Teacher’s (MUT) reaction on why it is not participant in the think tank launched by the Education Ministry, on Thursday the MUT announced that the Ministry has now offered the Union to form part of the think tank.
In view of these latest updates, the MUT accepted to be part of the think tank but in order to do so, the union will establish a working group made up of individuals with vast experience in the education sector and this group will be representing the MUT in the think tank.
On Wednesday, the Minister for Education Owen Bonnici announced the establishment of a think tank with the aim to propose ideas, thinking and reflections on the educational sector of the future, in light of Covid-19 and beyond.
Minister Bonnici said that the tink tank will be made up of Professor Edward de Bono, Professor Richard England, Dr Frank Fabri, Ms Joanne Grima, Ms Julianne Grima, Mr Frederick Schembri and Mr David Xuereb and the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Employment will be providing logistical and co-ordinating support.
The MUT had stated that it had not been consulted about this and therefore, is not acknowledging this project as it is not representative of experience within the education sector.
In its statement published on Thursday, the MUT appealed to Education Minister Owen Bonnici to focus more on the priorities and challenges which the coronavirus pandemic is posing on the education sector.
The Phantom Think Tank – UPE
The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers said that it was quite surprised that Teachers were left out of public think-tank on education.
At the same time, the union said that the fact that a framework which will eventually lead to the reopening of educational institutions, is having discussions with major stakeholders participating in it is reassuring. However, the union asked how can it be that all major stakeholders are being consulted on the future of education when educators and their unions have been entirely left out of the picture.
The UPE said that it cannot but doubt the validity of the think tank given that the professionals who would have been most able to provide solid feedback and advice have been cast aside and left out of all the decisions which will be taken.
In the meantime, the UPE is waiting on the Minister for Education to contact the union, so that some form of communication is established on the matter.
The future of education should involve Parents and Educators
The Maltese Association of Parents of State School Students (MAPSSS) strongly believes that, in order to have a resilient education system that can adapt to the current and future challenges, all stakeholders, including parents, should collaborate to discuss possible avenues that the education system in Malta could take in the future.
MAPSSS said that such a think tank should engage not only experts from specific sectors but also professionals who are front-liners in schools and qualified and resourceful persons who are currently at home taking care of their children due to COVID-19 restrictions.
MAPSSS also noted that the vision for the education system for Malta is already mapped through the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) which is based on an extensive consultation process and national consensus. In view of the fact that the NCF is still at the implementation stage, MAPSSS wants to understand the terms of reference for this new working group.