UPE lays down conditions for schools to reopen

Union of Professional Educators insists schools must reopen online • Warns regulation must be obeyed or industrial action will be introduced if schools reopen physically

The Union of Professional Educators has insisted with government officials that schools should open online in order to safeguard the health and safety of educators and students.

Despite calling for online schooling, if government persists in reopening schools physically, the union outlined a number of regulations which need to be implemented.

The UPE said that adequate distance must be delineated according to the recommended protocols.  

A staggered entry approach to ensure that students do not enter the school building together must be implemented.

A screen between students and educators must also be put up, be it Perspex or a roll up screen, in order to minimise close contact.

The union also said adequate provision of personal protective equipment and products must be provided.

“The union reiterated that should any of these conditions and provisions not be in place, it will not hesitate to make its disapproval evident by backing it up with action,” the statement read.

A meeting between the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT), Prime Minister Robert Abela and Education Minister Owen Bonnici on Wednesday also proved “inconclusive”, and did little to address concerns on the reopening of schools, the union said earlier on Thursday.

Despite concerns, the government has insisted that the reopening of schools will go ahead, saying that it was imperative that children to return to school.  

“Once there is any additional information, we will announce it immediately. We remind everyone that we are doing this to protect the health and safety of educators, children and everyone,” the MUT said.

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