The Malta Independent 20 January 2022, Thursday

€2.1 million allocated for laptops for Church school LSEs and Kindergarten Assistants

Saturday, 14 September 2019, 10:35 Last update: about 3 years ago

The government has allocated €2.1 million so that Church schools will be able to provide laptops for all their Learning Support Educators and Kindergarten Assistants.

The development comes following talks between the Archbishop's Curia and the Ministry of Education and Employment - discussions which were chaired by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion.

During the talks, a joint commission reviewed the agreement that was signed between the Holy See and Malta in November 1991. 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.

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo stated that to reach this agreement the Maltese government looked beyond the letter of agreement between the state of Malta and the Holy See and in the spirit of collaboration decided to give €2.1 million to go towards the purchase of laptops for Church school educators.

"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. We want our schools to be more than factories for passing tests and exams and for the acquisition of certificates. At a time when we are faced with the desertification brought about by materialism, we must nurture our young people into learning how to live together in more human society. There are those who work to spread hate and tear us apart. Exclusion and discrimination are easy. Inclusion is difficult and an act of civilisation. Let us choose the difficult path that makes us more human," Bartolo said.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela explained, that good education has the power to change lives: "By education, we mean more than learning to read and write, and to master arithmetic, science, and new languages. We value education as the process through which our younger generation is equipped with the tools necessary to grow into successful, independent adults - into better human beings. And as our children learn, grow, and thrive, so does the whole country with them."

Abela explained how the government funding allocation will see educators in Church schools benefiting from the same facilities offered to their counterparts in state schools throughout Malta and Gozo.

"This is yet another 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. We have had several high-level visits and exchanges of views that have gone beyond the photo opportunities to produce concrete results such as the one we are announcing today in education," Abela added.

 

MUT welcomes agreement

The Malta Union of Teachers welcomed the agreement, saying it “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”.

 

It added that although individual schools already made arrangements to provide laptops, “today's agreement shall implement in full what has been agreed upon with the MUT. This includes the replacement of teachers' laptops, which are outdated, and the supply of such resources to all educators.


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