Schools appear to be coping well with the COVID-19 pandemic, with only “sporadic” cases and no or very little transmission since reopening this month, the Malta Union of Teachers has said.
It received this information following a number of meetings with the health authorities.
However, the union confirmed it doesn’t have the exact numbers and said it wouldn’t publish them if it did, arguing it doesn’t want to “fall into the ‘tiritombla’ trap of creating unprofessional sensationalism that is only intended to cause alarm”.
“School workplace environments appear to have a similar scenario to other workplaces across the country and in the big majority of workplaces where there was a case it was sporadic with no or very limited transmission,” MUT president Marco Bonnici told Lovin Malta.
“This is particularly thanks to the good work educators are doing in observing the protocols.”
Earlier this month, the MUT announced a teachers’ strike due to concerns at a surge in COVID-19 infections.
The union called off the strike after reaching an agreement with the government to improve the management of the pandemic at schools.
One of the conditions was that Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci would update the MUT, along with representatives from State, Church and independent schools, about the situation at schools on a weekly basis.
“All the parties will be updated on a weekly basis through updated figures about the impact of the pandemic in schools,” a joint statement by the government, MUT and associations for Church and independent schools issued on 8th January read.
Bonnici confirmed that these update meetings are indeed being held, but said the MUT doesn’t have numbers and that it’s up to the health authorities to issue official statistics at a national level.
“Still, the MUT would not fall into the ‘tiritombla’ trap of creating unprofessional sensationalism that is only intended to cause alarm,” he said.
“Instead, the union is working hand in hand with educational and health stakeholders so that affected school communities are informed in a timely manner to ensure that all respective health measures are taken right away.”
“This is the same as what is happening in all workplaces across the country and the MUT expects nothing more and nothing less.”
“The MUT will continue to follow the situation closely and rest assured that it will act immediately should there be the need.”