The Malta Independent 7 May 2021, Friday

Schools should open next September but proper planning is crucial - PN

Friday, 28 August 2020, 11:41 Last update: about 9 months ago

PN Education Spokesperson Clyde Puli said that students need their education and schools, therefore authorities must to do everything in their power to re-open schools next September, but not with a lack of preparation. 

“Thorough and careful planning is absolutely crucial in such a situation”, Puli said. 

During a press conference on Friday, the Nationalist Party put forward a number of proposals on what is to happen and presented a constructive criticism on how to go about the re-opening of schools in September. 

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Roselyn Borg Knight and Minority Leader of the Birkirkara local council, Justin Schembri – who is also a teacher – were also present during the conference. 

Puli spoke about education and the opening of schools in September amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He highlighted three main points that need to be thoroughly considered for the opening of schools to take place. 

“The first point includes a well-studied plan that takes into consideration several different scenarios because this situation is constantly changing. In addition, a true consultation is necessary to take place with all stakeholders,” Puli said. 

He added that “to this present day it is clear that the real consultation has just begun and as we speak the Minister concerned has just begun discussing this situation now.” 

Lastly, Puli remarked that “we need to have control of the progress of the pandemic in our country as much as possible.” 

Puli added that “although the government is very late in preparing for the opening of schools, as only one month is left, the government has to figure out on how to control the situation and be prepared for any scenario that comes our way due to COVID-19.” 

“This situation has brought about many concerns not only amongst educators and students but also parents, as no one has been given clear guidelines on what is going to happen and has not been reassured that the necessary preparations have taken place.” 

Puli appealed that we should not demonize teachers as he expressed his belief that the majority of teachers truly want to return to work and go back with their students, rather than use this situation to their advantage as some kind of holiday. 

He added that “teachers have the right to ask if preparations are underway as so far, they have no detailed information.” 

“One ought to remember that teachers were the ones who saved the education of students between the months of March and June, when the government was not prepared,” Puli said. 
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