Co-ed consultation ‘very positive’, education minister says

Consultation involving teachers’ union, heads of school, students and parents on co-education described as ‘very positive’ by education minister Evarist Bartolo.

The consultation process on the introduction of co-education at the Santa Clara college has been ongoing since June 2013 and education minister Evarist Bartolo described it as "very positive."

Replying to a Parliamentary question by Opposition MP Joe Cassar, Bartolo said that during this consultation process, the ministry worked "hand in hand" with the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT), the college's head and assistants heads, parents and students.

This statement follows the withdrawal of the MUT from the National Committee on co-education after it complained of a lack of proper evaluation of the new system.

The MUT said that the study commissioned by the Government to evaluate the pilot project was being rushed unnecessarily and will therefore not contain a proper assessment on the impact of the reform on students, educators and schools.

Describing the experience as very positive, Bartolo said all other state schools showed interest and asked to have co-education introduced in all colleges.

Noting that the ministry received positive feedback from parents and teachers, the minister said that "the successful exercise carried out at Santa Clara college between June and September can be bettered in all other colleges by September 2014."

A report on the pilot project is in the process of being concluded and this will aid the ministry in introducing co-education in other collages.

Bartolo also noted that when co-education was introduced in the National Sports College by the previous administration, this was done without any serious consultation and preparations.

The introduction was however successful and Bartolo stressed that the biggest challenge facing the sector was making a success out of "mixed ability and differentiated teaching which were introduced by the previous government without any serious preparations." 

csstaines - The greatest challenge for teachers was when streaming was abolished and they had to come to terms with teaching mixed ability classes with differentiated teachings having the same number of students in class. Teaching boys and girls in secondary is just the continuity of the primary schools, something which the students are already used to and something which the primary teachers have been doing for years.
Quote: "the ministry worked "hand in hand" with the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT), the college's head and assistants heads, parents and students." What about the teachers at St.Clare College? Have they been consulted? I would ask Maltatoday to have a word with them to see their point of view - after all they are teaching the students.