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Malta’s Prime Minister Does Not Think State Education Is Good Enough For His Child

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If you were ever curious about what Malta’s local politicians think about the quality of state education, just look at where they send their own children. 

Malta’s Prime Minister Robert Abela’s daughter attends a private school, much like his predecessor Joseph Muscat, showing a clear indication that Malta’s current leaders do not feel state schools can provide their children with a sufficient education. 

It’s the equivalent of Finance and Economy Ministers investing all their money abroad, rather than in government bonds or the local economy. Or even the Health Minister regularly forgoing the state hospital in favour of private care.

Opposition leader Bernard Grech has even chosen to send his children to a church school rather than the state option. Unlike Abela, Grech actually responded to questions sent, explaining that he and his wife felt that they believed in that particular school’s ethos. 

Unfortunately, Maltese state schools remain worryingly under-resourced when it comes to their private school counterparts, with government investment seemingly counting for nought when it comes to generating long term results, as evidenced by the government’s recent employment policy

A European Commission study has even confirmed that children who attend a private school in Malta receive roughly two years more worth of education compared to their state school counterparts. 

In truth, Maltese education as a whole continues to be lacklustre, performing well-below most EU states despite having one of the largest spends in education in terms of GDP. Maltese students leave school earlier and perform worse in key areas like maths, science, and reading.

Meanwhile, around 50% of Malta’s workforce have less than the minimum six O-levels, even though the country has provided free education all the way to University.

There are many other Cabinet members and MPs who choose to send their children to either church or private schools in lieu of a state school education. However, all government MPs, including Education Minister Justyne Caruana, refused to answer what kind of educational establishment they send or sent their children to. 

Instead, Lovin Malta got a blanket reply from Government Whip Glenn Bedingfield.

“I believe every parent is at liberty to choose the educational institution that best suits the particular circumstances of their family. Politicians are no exception to this,” he said on behalf of the parliamentary group. 

Bedingfield also pointed out that the education sector’s capital investment now stands at €81.5 million, with a total expenditure of €705 million per year. However, Malta’s current education figures prove that money is not the answer, and a radical rethink of the entire system is needed. 

“This is an unprecedented investment in all of Malta’s children as education is a key priority for the government. We are committed to enhancing our country’s educational system such that our children can all enjoy an enriched educational experience. That is, after all, what our children deserve, and we are indeed committed to delivering it to them.”

Despite best efforts, state school children continue to receive the shorter end of the stick, with even former Education Minister Evarist Bartolo conceding that the current system is unjust against them. 

Still, the Cabinet refuses to reveal to the nation which schools they chose for their children. Whether it’s state or not, It’s clear that far too many have no stake in the public school game, or any interest to improve it. 

Are state schools at disadvantage next to church and private schools?

READ NEXT: Police Will Investigate Video Of People Urging Man To Jump Off Bastion 

Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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