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Malta Needs A Virtual School For Vulnerable Students, Teachers’ Union Proposes

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Vulnerable students who attend state schools should attend a special virtual school, where they will be provided with online education, the Malta Union of Teachers has proposed.

The MUT said it has proposed this system to the Education Ministry and is finalising discussions in this regard.

“The MUT understands that students who cannot attend school during this scholastic year, due to their health conditions, shall be provided with an alternative which caters for their requirements,” the union said.

“To this effect, the MUT is finalising discussions with MEDE, which is the employer and service provider, regarding the setting up of the virtual school. It is understood that this shall not affect the workload of educators in schools as the service shall run in parallel with dedicated educators.”

Schools reopened last month for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, with the government giving parents the option between sending their children to school physically and having them follow a series of pre-recorded lessons.

Prime Minister Robert Abela and Education Minister Owen Bonnici have repeatedly stressed that no system of online learning can compensate for physical education and have urged parents to keep their children’s academic, social and emotional development in mind when making their choice.

Around 80% of students are currently attending school physically.

Both the MUT and the UPE have resisted a proposal by the Education Ministry for classes to be live-streamed in real time, citing privacy concerns and the fact that physical and online teaching entail different pedagogical methods.

What do you make of this proposal?

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