Philip Borg, a Pure Maths teacher at De La Salle College, penned an open letter on Facebook yesterday directed at Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Evarist Bartolo, the Minister for Education and Employment. In the letter, Borg urged Muscat and Bartolo to be aware of the current educational sector in Malta, and what that means for the future. In it, he quotes the new candidates for teaching courses at University, along with the conditions which Maltese teachers are facing on their workplace.
Here is the full translation of the open letter, which was originally posted in Maltese:
“An open letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Education and Employment
Honourable Prime Minister, Honourable Minister for Education and Employment
I would like to bring to your attention the not-so-positive situation which the future of Malta’s education sector finds itself in. A look at the worryingly small number of prospective candidates for teachers’ courses should show you that, very soon, our country will be begging for new teachers and unable to find any. The profession, with all its attractive holidays and good conditions, is one which keeps becoming more stressful, and it doesn’t even pay well, especially when compared to other jobs.
It is you, the leaders of our country, who can do something to improve this situation. The added stress on teachers with administrative work is taking away from the time and energy which is meant to be used for actual teaching. Apart from that, the teachers deserve way more than the mere crumbs from the sizeable cake of the strong economy which Malta has been so lucky and busy to enjoy lately. If you really have education close to your hearts, treat teachers in the same way you do other professions, not less.
I hope this letter serves to spur the educational sector, which really is the base of all the other professions.
Thank you and I wish you continuous rigorous work
The post has only been online for a little over a day, but it already seen over 450 likes and 135 shares. It was clearly effective in translating its message beyond Philip’s friend list, as yesterday Minister for Education Evarist Bartolo reportedly reached out to Borg with somewhat reassuring words. This is what he said:
“Dear Mr Borg
We want to improve the conditions of teachers, as well as reducing any waste of time so that they can concentrate on teaching.
This is our commitment and we will work to achieve it.
Philip Borg thanked the Minister for his reply, carrying on to say that he has no doubt about Bartolo’s promise. Later, he also went on to inform everyone that Minister Evarist Bartolo, along with one of Malta’s Director Generals for Education, had already arranged a meeting with him to discuss the way forward. “I’m very happy that promises have been kept, and it seems like the necessary measures to improve the situation are going to be taken.”