Introducing new subjects without certainty over teachers’ availability unacceptable – PN

The Nationalist Party said the manner in which the new subjects are being introduced is symptomicof a government without a plan while calling for the establishment of a national teaching strategy

The Nationalist Party said the country was in need of a national teaching strategy
The Nationalist Party said the country was in need of a national teaching strategy

The government introducing an additional 13 applied subjects to the national curriculum without first having ensured teachers’ availability is an unacceptable state of affairs, the Nationalist Party said on Friday.

Reacting to a statement yesterday by the Malta Union of Teachers which pointed out that there weren’t enough teachers who can teach 13 additional subjects next year, the PN insisted it was high time for the government to develop a national teaching strategy.

"Government needs to, without further delay, establish a national strategy to attract greater numbers of motivated candidates with a sound academic or professional background and pedagogical competencies to the teaching profession," shadow minister for education Clyde Puli said.

The MUT said yesterday that there weren't enough teachers to teach traditional subjects, let alone to cater for the planned additional subjects. This, Puli said, was ultimately unfair on those working in education.  

"This is unfair on schools, administrators teachers and students who will have to face all the stress,” he said. “This shows lack of long-term planning by the government in the field of education."

Puli added that there were times in the past when the government had made use of students to fill the vacuum.

PN MEP Francis Zammit Dimech, a member of the Committee on Education at the European Parliament, said that the government had to perform concrete actions to improve a teacher's status including providing more professional opportunities and improving working conditions.

Zammit Dimech made reference to an MUT survey conducted earlier this month, which found that 87% of respondents suffered some type of agression in schools. "23% claimed it on a daily basis with another 23% claiming it happened on a weekly basis. The government should also provide teachers with support for comprising mentoring programmes, peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of best practices," he said.