Church school educators to be given laptops following agreement with government

An agreement between the Church and the government will see €2.1 million allocated for educators to be provided with the same facilities provided in state schools

The agreement will see €2.1 million invested in providing church school educators with laptops
The agreement will see €2.1 million invested in providing church school educators with laptops

Learning Support Educators and Kindergarten Assistants will be provided with laptops following an agreement between the Church and the government.

The agreement will see €2.1 million allocated for educators in church schools to benefit from the same facilities available to state school educators, the government said in a statement on Saturday.

The talks between the Archbishop’s Curia and the Education Minister were “chaired” by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

As part of the talks, a joint commissioner reviewed the agreement that was signed between the Holy See and Malta back in 1991, which created a special fund for the administration of Church Schools.

“Even though it transpired that the Maltese Government is not legally obliged by the said agreement to provide such funds, it nevertheless opted to voluntarily supply these laptops,” read the statement.

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo was quoted saying that the government had decided to provide the funds “in the spirit of collaboration”.

“All this is a means to an end. We must work together to educate and bring up our young people according to the values that we find in the Vatican education documents based on fraternal humanism,” Bartolo said.  

He said that government wanted schools be more than “factories for passing tests and exams”, adding that children needed to be taught how to live in a more “human society”.

Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela stressed that the good education had the power to change lives, insiting that it was essential to ensure that younger generations have the necessary tool to grow and thrive.

“This is tangible evidence of the excellent bilateral relations that exist between Malta and the Holy See. Over the past years, our bilateral ties have gone from strength to strength,” Abela said.

MUT welcomes agreement

Reacting to the announcement, the Malta Union of Teachers said it welcomed the agreement.

“The MUT appreciates the efforts made by both parties to bring educators in church schools at par with their colleagues in state schools in terms of digital resources,” the union said.  

It added that the provision of laptops had been agreed to in the Collective Agreement signed between the MUT and the church authorities.