Malta’s minority teachers union, UPE (Union of Professional Educators), has stood by its calls for a return to online learning, as the island’s schools witness a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Last week, health authorities confirmed that seven educators from four different schools tested positive for the virus. Earlier today, UPE was notified of another alleged case at St Ġorġ Preca College, Blata l-Bajda.
“Our call has remained the same,” UPE’s head, Graham Sansone told Lovin Malta.
“In these circumstances, we actually believe that online schooling is the best system.”
Sansone has been advocating for online schooling long before schools re-opened. A survey conducted within the union back in August showed that 87% of members preferred online schooling.
“I can’t understand why there’s such an equivocal insistence on opening our schools,” Sansone continued.
“It’s like the ministry and the government have alternative motives as to why they want to keep us in school.”
Education Minister Owen Bonnici has raised concerns over the viability of online learning in the long run.
“I’m a parent too, I have a 12-year-old daughter and I’m going to send her to school because it’s important for her education to continue,” Bonnici said.
“God forbid we end up in a situation where our children lose six months, a year, a year and a half of their education until the vaccine is distributed to everyone.”