Education for a better future | Clifton Grima

Every change, at every level of our education system, must take into account the impact that the pandemic has had on students and the way teaching is conducted

File photo
File photo

Clifton Grima is minister for education, and a Labour candidate on the 9th and 10th district

The modern, developed and industrialised world is led by education. To survive in the ever-competitive world, we all need education as it is a pivotal role in all of our lives and paves the way for all of us to reach our highest potential. Education plays an important part in our quality of life, as it is a basic need for a society to thrive and is one of the pillars of the new economic vision for our country. Investing in education is a commitment by the Labour Government leading to an enhanced sector.

The budget presented for this year is proof enough, that the Labour government prioritises education, thus confirming its commitment towards students, educators and their families. The measures announced in the budget, together with the proposals being put forward during this election campaign, will surely result in a better quality of life for all.

I believe that one of the highlights as discussed with their representatives is that we are emphasising that educators should play a greater role as policy-makers while we continue to invest in them, to attract more students to the teaching profession.

We are promising to reduce red tape and administrative work so that educators can focus more on teaching – hand in hand with a strong infrastructure investment in our schools. A new Labour government will better conditions for educators. This means another significant improvement in educators’ wages over the next five years. We recognise the need to attract more students to the teaching profession. In addition to the improvement in wages, teachers will see other improvements in working conditions. We will continue to invest in their continuing education with clear pathways to career advancement.

Students studying to become kindergarten educators or learning support educators will start receiving payment during teaching practice as well.

While strengthening the dialogue with educators and their representatives, an independent research centre will be set up by a Labour government. This centre will serve as an incubator for educational innovations with the opportunity to collaborate with international research centres, local research companies and government entities in projects on education systems and teaching methods for the present and the future.

Every change, at every level of our education system, must take into account the impact that the pandemic has had on students and the way teaching is conducted. We are open to the idea of keeping certain practices that worked well during the pandemic such as parents’ day. The discussion that has already begun on homework and children’s leisure will be launched at national level.

Through this year’s budget, students are already benefiting from a 10% increase in their stipends. A new Labour government will further increase stipends by 15%. Free laptops will be provided to secondary school students and the one tablet per child scheme will be extended to secondary schools as well.

Children will also be able to choose a set of books to build a small library every year, paid for by the government. A €300 per year tax credit will be provided to families who send their children to extracurricular activities.

More proposals are addressed to students coming from vulnerable families, including the provision of a uniform per scholastic year.

These measures, and all those related to children with the proposed Garanzija għat-Tfal will cost €145 million across the legislature. The Labour government thoroughly believes in our students and educators.