Malta is failing to address education issues in the pandemic, justice NGO Repubblika warned, adding that the impact of this would create a “lost generation” of students.
It warned that the decision to waive students’ school attendance in fear of the virus was “lazy and irresponsible”.
“We have seen an unequal response in our school system to these concerns,” the NGO wrote in a statement.
“The government is not acting to reach out to students in state and church schools who are not attending school for whatever reason and are missing out on school days with little or nothing to compensate for the missed education.”
Schools were closed off during March in response to the outbreak of coronavirus but have reopened for the scholastic year. Reopening for state, church and independent schools has been uneven in a mix of online and offline learning.
Meanwhile, many of vulnerable students are currently missing school entirely, with parents allowed not to send their children to school this scholastic year due to the COVID-19 situation. The government has recently sought to address this, unveiling a scheme for 600 vulnerable children to learn in a virtually.
The quality of educational material also differs greatly between schools Repubblika added, while students are not offered a chance to socialise or engage in extracurricular activities due to a weaken curriculum and unpractical COVID-19 guidelines.
Repubblika lambasted Education Minister Owen Bonnici as being “woefully out of his depth” and expects the government to fork out the cost of equipment for remote education, pay for extracurricular activities and compensate educators for the difficult work they were doing.
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