While many teachers across Malta went on strike today, Bormla mayor Alison Zerafa Civelli was one of those who disobeyed the directives issued by the Malta Teachers’ Union.
“I will go to work like all other workers because I care about my students and their parents,” Zerafa Civelli, who is also the sister-in-law of Prime Minister Robert Abela, said yesterday. “I’m going to school no matter what the union says, and I’ll listen to the authorities. The MUT should think about what’s good for our children too. Enough is enough!”
She confirmed with Lovin Malta that she kept her promise and went to school, even though many parents decided not to keep their children at home.
“Far fewer children attended school than usual because of the uncertainty and instability,” she said.
Noting that the recent spike in COVID-19 occurred while schools were closed for Christmas, Zerafa Civelli noted that the rise in cases cannot be attributed to schools and said online learning isn’t a proper substitute.
“In my opinion as a teacher and a mother, children belong at school, both from a social aspect and an educational one, particularly for young children. Online learning is hard for young children unless their parents are by their side.”
She argued that schools are safer than most places, thanks to the raft of health precautions and cooperation from staff since they reopened last September.
“Everything ran smoothly since then. Schools introduced very good precautions, so much was invested in hygiene, and children are conscious that they need to wear masks. It’s safer for children at school than outside.”
Following a spike in COVID-19 cases, the MUT proposed two days of online learning (today and tomorrow), with the pandemic situation assessed further over the weekend.
They said their advice was based on information they received from health authorities but both Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci and Health Minister Chris Fearne have come out against school closures.