UPE insists on 4 measures if schools are to reopen physically

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers insisted that strict measures needed to be adhered to if the government is to forge ahead with its plans to reopen schools physically next week.

The union held a meeting with government officials on Thursday morning, and reiterated that its position was that the physical reopening of school should be delayed until the number of Covid-19 cases is brought down considerably. It believes that instead, lessons should initially be delivered online.

But the UPE, which has registered an industrial dispute over the reopening of schools and which is planning industrial action, nevertheless signalled its readiness to accept that schools reopen physically as planned.

However, it insisted that the following conditions must be observed:

  • Adequate social distancing must be observed, with the distances delineated not inferior to the distance recommended in the protocols.
  • There must be a staggered entry to schools, to ensure that not all students walk into the school building at the same time.
  • A screen must be set up between students and educators to minimise the repercussions of any close contact there might be between them.
  • There must be an adequate provision of personal protective equipment and products including, soap, paper towels, face shields, face masks, and gloves to fully cater for educators’ daily needs.

It emphasised that it would not hesitate to launch industrial action should any of these conditions not be in place.

“The union will always be there to stand by its members,” it pledged.