Education Minister Justyne Caruana has refused to answer questions as to whether or not she will resign from Cabinet in the wake of a damning report into a contract she dished out to her boyfriend, Daniel Bogdanovic, that calls for criminal investigation.
Caruana failed to respond to questions sent on Friday asking whether or not she will step down as the Minister for Education after a Standards Commissioner report which concluded that “Caruana used her discretion in a way that constitutes an abuse of power, and broke with the ministerial code of ethics”.
Since then many including the PN and key activist groups have called for her resignation.
Caruana had granted Bogdanovic, a former footballer, a three-month contract worth €15,000 to visit government schools and draft recommendations on how to improve the national sports school’s ability to produce elite athletes.
Bogdanovic was an elite athlete in his own right, playing for the likes of Barnsley, Sheffield United and Blackpool in his prime. However, his contract with the Education Ministry raised eyebrows given his lack of pedagogical qualifications and his personal relationship with the Minister.
Bogdanovic did not even author said recommendations, with the report actually being done by one of Caruana’s consultants, Paul Debattista.
Instead, Bogdanovic also served other roles in the ministry, which included technical work, photocopies, taking visitors temperature, among other things.
The damning report comes at a challenging time for the educational sector in general, which is facing its own crisis amid concerns over poor performance despite massive investment, with the country having some of the highest rates of early school leavers in the entire EU.
Caruana was appointed Education Minister in November 2020. She had returned after being ousted at the start of the year following her now-estranged husband, Silvio Valletta’s links to the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
He is believed to have leaked sensitive information to Yorgen Fenech, the suspected mastermind, and the hired hitmen, including their impending arrests, and Daphne’s movements in the lead up to her murder.
Prime Minister Robert Abela is yet to respond to questions sent over Caruana’s potential resignation.
Should Caruana resign?