Today’s chaos at primary schools, secondary schools and sixth forms all over Malta and Gozo was out of line. It is understandable why the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) went on strike this morning. However, the negligence of respect towards students defeated the point of the strike. Yet that’s not all.
On Wednesday, the Education Minister issued that schools would be reopening after the holidays even though a record number of 224 cases was reported. The rise in cases was claimed to be a result of New Year’s gatherings. The MUT insisted that schools should not reopen since teachers felt that they should be considered frontliners too. It is no joke – schools are a source of mass gatherings of students.
Many students posted on their social media accounts complaining about the result of today’s strike while the MUT stated that today’s strike was a “success”. Administrative staff and teachers coming from their respective institutions not informing their students whether or not they were going to have lessons was basically a slap in the face.
Teachers should put their students first, and in case of a strike, by being considerate towards their students. The main aim of the strike was for teachers to unite and show the Maltese Government their serious concerns about schools physically reopening. Some teachers still went ahead with online lectures therefore striking against schools physically reopening yet still teaching their students with the means they felt is necessary due to the rise in cases. However not all teachers were this generous.
Unfortunately, the Maltese Government does not issue how many cases per day come from school gatherings which leads to this question: what is the margin ratio of cases being transmitted in schools? The constant intransparency of the Maltese Government’s daily reporting of cases results in these problems. If the Maltese Government were to state where the cases are being transmitted, leaving out names of locations, the general public would understand even more why teachers wanted to strike. And this has been going on since last October. If people were better informed, more awareness would be instilled in the Maltese population to caution.
The Education Minister, Justyne Caruana, who originally insisted on the reopening of schools, stated in a Facebook post this afternoon that the Ministry for Education is in constant communication with the Health Department. The MUT is currently in a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Education Minister in Castille.
Feature Photo taken by Kevin Abela from Malta Today