The Malta Independent 16 October 2019, Wednesday

Heavier fines for assault of educators; board to take decisions for children when parents don't

Wednesday, 9 October 2019, 22:12 Last update: about 6 days ago

A Board for Educational Matters is to be founded in order to safeguard children’s interests and to make sure that decisions on the child’s education are taken with their interest in mind.

The Board forms part of amendments to the Education Act which were discussed in Parliament on Wednesday, with Education Minister Evarist Bartolo saying that the Board will ensure that children are not left behind because they are being used as pawns by their parents in conflicts against each other.

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Bartolo said that it would not be the intention of the Board to take moral decisions for parents when these same parents take decisions in protest of what they consider inappropriate curriculum, hence dispelling criticism laid out by Opposition MP Edwin Vassallo who referred to a textbook which intended on teaching schoolchildren about different sexual orientations as an example of such material.

Steps will also be taken to protect educators as part of this Bill, with Bartolo noting that Assault or intimidation of educators would be punishable with a fine of between €800 and €5,000.

There will also be heaving penalties for those who do not send their children to school and who do not appear when summoned by the respective tribunal, with parents facing the possibility of a fine or even imprisonment.

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