Watch: MUT directives stopping support services in schools lifted after 14-month impasse

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A series of directives affecting support services in schools which have been in place for more than a year are being lifted just in time for the new scholastic year after the Malta Union of Teachers has reached an agreement with the government on the issue.

The news was revealed by MUT president Marco Bonnici on the programme Andrew Azzopardi on 103, in which the presenter and academic asked the union head to explain what led to this development.

The directives had been instituted on July 2019, and affected state as well as church schools.

Back then, the MUT had said that it resorted to this step because the government was failing to provide recognition to those providing such support services. Consequently, it argued, many resigned, leading to chronic staff shortages.

In its directive, the union had asked the staff involved to refrain from:

  • Working on the My Journey programme, which seeks to augment traditional academic learning with vocational and applied subjects
  • Submitting reports and forecasts
  • Communicate with their superiors, including through emails or phone, or holding meeting with them.
  • Accepting new students, or providing services to students they did not previously know

Azzopardi questioned why the union would resort to suspending such services to students for more than a year, with Bonnici emphasising that essential services continued to be provided. He also insisted that the same question should be asked to the Education Ministry, given the time it took for a solution to be reached.

Bonnici also highlighted that the directives had been launched in the beginning of summer as demand for such services would be low, in the hope that a solution would be found in time for the scholastic year. But ultimately, a whole school year came and went before an agreement was reached.