Four ‘serious’ cases of violence in schools worry Malta Union of Teachers

In a meeting with the Nationalist Party, the MUT flags violence in schools and a lack of teachers as major concerns

MUT President Marco Bonnici
MUT President Marco Bonnici

Security in schools is a topmost concern for the Malta Union of Teachers in the wake of “four serious cases” in recent weeks, president Marco Bonnici said.

He raised the issue on Monday during a meeting with Adrian Delia at the Nationalist Party headquarters.

Bonnici said the media reported two of the cases that happened recently but insisted there were four in all.

"We call for more security in schools,” he said, while referring to the results of a survey commissioned by the MUT that found 87% of teachers suffered some kind of abuse in 2017. 

The media were invited for the introductory remarks and the meeting continued behind closed doors.

Bonnici avoided commenting on the PN’s latest criticism over the use of mobile classrooms in some schools to cater for the increase in student numbers.

However, the MUT president welcomed the meeting, insisting that the union was always open to opportunities for serious debate.

Bonnici lamented that its warnings over teacher shortages were not being taken seriously ahead of the new scholastic year in September when new practical subjects will be taught in secondary schools.

"People and the government are contradicting us when we issue statements but we are speaking now ahead of a crisis in the new scholastic year,” Bonnici said.

PN leader Adrian Delia said the party wanted to understand better the plight of the teaching profession.

Delia said the PN was looking forward to more than just a critical role in the education sector.

"We know what the problems are: the government is not involving teachers intrinsically and clearly lacks a long-term plan. I hope we don't encounter the worst-case scenario before we start coming up with solutions," he said as he lamented the “container” solution for teaching pupils in overpopulated schools.

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