Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia has warned of “total failure” in Malta’s education system after it was revealed how primary school students were being taught inside containers at St Paul’s Bay government school.
Delia described the move as a “certificate of failure”, saying that a Nationalist Party in power always prioritized Malta’s education system.
Last Friday, the Times of Malta reported how ten prefabricated classrooms were set up in the playground of a government primary school at St Paul’s Bay in order to cope with rising student numbers.
National statistics show that the population numbers in St Paul’s Bay has been growing for a number of years, however it has been reported that between 2015 and 2018, the number of residents in the area grew by 26%. The Times quoted the school’s principal as saying an influx of foreigners has left the primary school badly needing more space.
Delia stressed that the PN had built one school per year during its time in government, and the current situation can be translated to mean that the government does not have any respect towards students. He said the government neither has respect for teachers and lecturers as the profession has long suffered staffing shortages.
Education Minister Evarist Bartolo previously promised a new school for St Paul’s Bay, with the deadline having been set for 2015. Issues arising at the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools, such as the resignation of top officials, corruption claims landing in court and delays in the tendering progress all contributed towards delays for the new school. The latest target has been set for September 2019.
Education Ministry Reaction
In reaction, the Education Ministry has denied that the classrooms in question can be called “containers”, adding that just because they are “prefabricated classrooms” does not mean they are of inferior quality.
He said the classrooms are kitted out with all modern technology, such as interactive whiteboards and air conditioning, and implored that the PN leader stop using ultra partisan remarks in an area as sensitive as education.