‘Pure invention intended to harm’ – Ombudsman

Harsh reaction to UPE assertion

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The allegation that the Education Commissioner and the Department of Education tried to justify using foreign teachers is a pure invention intended to do harm. This was stated in a right of reply issued by the Office Ombudsman following a statement from the Union for Professional Teachers (UPE – Voice of-the Workers).

The Commissioner for Education Charles Caruana Carabez said he will be working to address the issue of a lack of teachers, which is reaching crisis levels. The UPE responded by stating that Carabez and the Department of Education are trying to justify the employment of foreign teachers in state schools. They added that the Commissioner and the Education Department was convincing people that employing foreigners is the solution to the problem.

The Office of the Ombudsman insisted that the allegation made by the union that the Commissioner for Education somehow tolerates interference in its functions by the authorities is, ‘unfounded, defamatory and undermines the credibility of the Office.’ The Ombudsman continued by insisting that the Commissioner for Education never claimed that the use of foreign workers to make up for the teachers-gap, is a solution to the problem. He said that if for now there doesn’t seem to be any other solution, then it’s better to have a foreign teacher in a classroom than no teacher at all.

“Wages do not reflect the work teachers face” – Education Commissioner

We will not allow our proposals to be put on the shelf – MUT

Earlier this month, the Malta Independent reported that the Education Minister Evarist Bartolo had said that if the recruitment of foreign teachers worked well in Church and Independent schools, they could also be employed with the Government. The Minister said that they can be employed to teach mathematics and IT. He did not, however, confirm the number of teachers that needed to be recruited.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Malta Union of Teachers said that the Government is re-thinking its proposal on importing foreign teachers. During a press conference the President of the MUT Marco Bonnici said that the government needs to listen and think twice, but added that there were no further developments on the matter.