Teachers’ union reissues stand on hunting exhibition: we do not approve

In updated statement, Malta Union of Teachers says it will not approve or back the an exhibition about hunting inside Gozitan schools

Updated on Sunday 29 January at 3:15pm

The Malta Union of Teachers has clarified a statement issued on Saturday afternoon in which it had showed no aversion to an exhibition about hunting inside Gozitan schools, now saying it does not approve of the Kaċċaturi San Ubertu exhibition being sponsored by the Gozo ministry.

“The MUT is hereby issuing a clarification following the misinterpretations of its position regarding the hunting exhibition. The MUT does not approve or back the hunting exhibition in schools. It has always condemned any killing of living species and its promotion in schools. The union has always supported the work carried out to conserve nature and living species and urges educators to pursue with their teaching in schools to show the real effects of hunting.”

Earlier in the day, the MUT said it believed that an exhibition of this sort would “never counteract all the positive work carried out by educators and schools towards a culture of conservation and respect for all living species.”

After the Office of the Commissioner for Children sounded concerns that the exhibition might promote the use of firearms among children, Kaċċaturi San Ubertu hit back stating that children were already indoctrinated by a “BirdLife Malta syllabus” and questioned by the Commissioner had never condemned video games or films that expose children to firearms and violence.

“The union believes that since only education can bring about positive changes, schools cannot ignore controversial themes such as hunting. No static exhibition promoting hunting will influence students who are used to classroom discussions and practices promoting respect towards nature and its conservation,” MUT said.

The union invited educators and schools to continue to showcase the real effects of hunting, whilst promoting the message towards the conservation of nature and respect of all living species. “The MUT believes that all organisations which work towards the conservation of nature should be given the same platform by the Education Ministry to promote their work in schools,” MUT concluded.

Kaċċaturi San Ubertu hit out at the MUT for its disapproval of the exhibition, noting that it highlighted various aspects of legal hunting while allowing students to ask questions about the practice.

"We ask whether the MUT even verified the contents of this exhibition before opposing it. We also query whether their stating they "always condemned any killing of living species and its promotion in schools." is aimed at promoting vegetarianism to our children at school as educators," the organisation said.

"Being aware of Birdlife Malta as educators through their programme Dinja Waħda and their stand against hunting, we ask the MUT to clarify whether they support the denial of factual information being made available at schools as opposed to the current indoctrination."