Coronavirus: Teachers’ union does not want to mark sick students’ homework

Malta Union of Teachers requests self-isolation of all educators and students who have visited affected countries, refusal of homework from sick students and stopping mass indoor gatherings

The Malta Union of Teachers said students should not accept homework from sick students
The Malta Union of Teachers said students should not accept homework from sick students

The Malta Union of Teachers has directed its members not to accept any homework from students who are unwell, in light of the spread of coronavirus in Europe.

In a series of instructions issued on Tuesday, the union also requested that mass indoor gatherings at schools, such as assemblies and Mass, should be halted, and that students and teachers who visited countries affected by the virus should stay home.

In a communication sent to the Permanent Secretary at the Education Ministry, as well as to all non-state schools, the union expressed its concern about the “lack of direction following the developments regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)”.

It explained that it was concerned about the absence of direction regarding precautionary measures which need to be taken by schools upon their re-opening after carnival recess.

In the absence of any direction, MUT said that it “reserves the right to direct educators to ensure that their wellbeing and the wellbeing of students in their respective classrooms and schools are safeguarded.” 

It said it expected that such communication is issued to educators tomorrow before the re-opening of schools on Thursday.

The MUT is requesting that self-isolation of all educators and students who have visited affected countries should be enforced, with those individuals being marked as excused from attending.

No homework should be accepted from students who are unwell, the union said, and mass indoor gatherings should be stopped, including assemblies and Mass.

The provision of hand sanitizers or alcohol rubs, soap and clean supplies of water to all schools was also demanded.

Students who are sick should be sent home and a certificate certifying that they are fit for school should be produced prior to their readmission and appropriate cleaning should be carried out, the MUT said.

The MUT added that it was ready to "assist accordingly" and requested that the ministry liaised with the respective health authorities to provide direction to schools.

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