PN says government is resorting to 'containers' instead of new schools

Nationalist Party Education spokesperson Clyde Puli has criticised the use of mobile classrooms to placate the problem of overpopulated schools, which he insists are the result of government's lack of economic vision

St Paul's Bay Primary School: one of the most overpopulated and multi-cultural schools on the island
St Paul's Bay Primary School: one of the most overpopulated and multi-cultural schools on the island

The use of mobile classrooms in some schools has raised the ire of the Nationalist Party that accused the government of lacking an economic vision.

PN Education spokesperson Clyde Puli was reacting to the situation in Żejtun and St Paul's Bay, where children were attending lessons in mobile classrooms due to overpopulated schools.

"Because of a lack of economic vision apart from the economic growth through population increase, children are being segregated into containers to sit for their lessons," Puli said.

Puli criticised the government for falling behind on plans to build new schools or refurbish existing ones. A new primary school in St Paul's Bay has missed its deadline and a new primary school in Marsaskala only started receiving studentds last week.

"The school that's being used in St Paul's Bay was built back in 1956 and now caters for more than a thousand students, a high percentage of whom are foreign," Puli said, adding that this was a result of the government's plan to build an economy based on cheap labour and an influx of foreign persons. 

"This increase in population is causing further difficulties to teachers, including the fact that they now have to face multiple nationalities. The school at St Paul's Bay is one of the most multi-cultural schools with more than 60 nationalities attending," Puli said.

The PN secretary general made reference to the Prime Minister's Sunday speech where Joseph Muscat said that an 'open-doors policy' was the best bet for a thriving economy, insinuating that the increase in pensions was possible thanks to the influx of foreign workers.

"Instead of threatening the country, the government should immediately address the difficulties afflicting teachers; problems that the government itself caused. The government should seriously consider building new schools," Puli said, adding that for the PN, high standards in education demanded high-quality classrooms and not containers.