[WATCH] Education Minister will do ‘everything necessary’ to ensure security at schools

Evarist Bartolo said that every problem needed to be addressed on its own merits but insisted that the government would be taking action at problematic schools

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo
Education Minister Evarist Bartolo
Education Minister on school security and prefabricated classrooms

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo this morning pledged to do everything necessary to address security concerns at schools.

A spate of violent incidents in recent weeks have brought about fresh calls by the Malta Union of Teachers for the government to better address the issue.

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“We will do whatever needs to be done,” Bartolo said at the end of a press conference that launched an initiative to promote the learning of foreign languages in Malta.

A few months back, following another incident and amid similar calls for heightened security at schools, Bartolo had insisted that he did not want schools to be turned into prisons.

Asked whether he still felt this way the minister said he believed in “facing any problem”.

“It would be wrong to take a small problem and blow it out of proportion and it is also wrong to take a big problem and play it down. You deal with every situation and every school on its own merit and where necessary we will do whatever is needed,” Bartolo said.

READ ALSO: Majority of teachers experienced aggression in schools in the past two years, MUT survey finds

Mobile classrooms

The minister was also asked about the recent controversy surrounding prefabricated classrooms being used at some schools around Malta and which the Opposition leader has referred to as “containers”.

Bartolo said referring to the classrooms as containers was a lie, insisting the classes were more comfortable than traditional ones.

Asked whether, despite the classrooms’ comfort, criticism over the fact that not enough schools have been built to meet the demand of a rapidly growing population was justified, Bartolo said schools weren’t built overnight.

“Schools take time to build. The one in Marsaskala is ready and we must focus more on the new Qawra school,” he insisted.

Bartolo pointed to a number of schools that were built including schools in Dingli and Kirkop, adding that refurbishment works on a number of other schools had also been carried out.

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