The Malta Independent 23 April 2019, Tuesday

Back to school resolutions

Sunday, 9 September 2018, 08:57 Last update: about 9 months ago

France has begun its scholastic year with a ban on mobile phones for students aged under 16. From what I hear, certain schools in Malta have abandoned the war on mobile phones and let students do as they please. Some ask how parents can contact their children when they are at school. However, a system can be worked out – the phones are collected as soon as students enter school and then given back to them when they leave.


I overheard people talking in the street that their children cannot do without private lessons. To add insult to injury, sometimes, private lessons are viewed more important than school lessons. We should devise a system where students are educated and not coached for exams. We should also help students to be critical thinkers and analyse a situation on facts. Then we should strengthen their will to choose what is right.

Let us have a flexible educational system which caters for the poor, the underprivileged, the undernourished, the abused at home. We can stop this vicious circle from producing adults who are dysfunctional in society. Let us save them and make them the centre of our system because they need help the most.

Boundaries should never be crossed or become blurred. Rules are there to be kept, which prevents abuse. A teacher or a parent should assume his/her responsibility and keep his/her place as an educator.

Whoever is responsible for the care of the young should keep both eyes wide open. An administrator is not there to be popular or to be friends with those under his/her care. If an administrator behaves correctly, fairly and kindly and is popular with those under his/her care, so much the better; it is added benefit.

Power corrupts. So we should impress upon those who have power that the power one has is to serve; whether one is a parent, a teacher, an administrator or a member of the police force. And service is given by respecting human dignity and dealing with incidents in a fair manner. We should let young plants to grow in the best of environments so get the very best out of them.

Good luck for the new scholastic year!


Joe Portelli


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