Don’t risk on COVID-19 or schools might not reopen, teachers union says

‘Carelessness, thoughtlessness, and the triumphalism of some could have an enormous impact on school teaching in the months to come’

Malta’s union of teachers has said that carelessness and triumphalism on COVID-19 could risk this year’s school opening in September unless proper responsibility is assumed.

In an appeal to decision-makers, the MUT called on the health authorities not to underestimate the effect that decisions on the COVID-19 pandemic could have on students and teachers.

“Carelessness, thoughtlessness, and the triumphalism of some could have an enormous impact on school teaching in the months to come. We don’t need any of this,” MUT president Marco Bonnici.

Bonnici said online teaching will never replicate face-to-face contact with teachers and the shared experiences of the school environment.

“The increase in virus cases is worrying everyone, not least teachers who are aware of the continuous contact inside classrooms with students. Schools are unlike other workplaces and restrictive measures such as those in shops and offices cannot be successfully implemented in schools.”

Bonnici said the mass movement of people in limited spaces inside schools means it will be hard to enforce social distancing, mask-wearing and hygiene. “The consequences could be great, for educators, students, parents and their relatives. The MUT appeals to each individual to seriously think of their actions when they might put others at risk.”

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