Students at certain secondary schools have been left staring at the walls during their scheduled lessons due to a serious teacher shortage, PN councillor and teacher Justin Schembri has warned.
“It seems we have a new way in education,” Schembri said sarcastically in a Facebook post a few days after the start of the new scholastic year. “They’re only receiving half their lessons in subjects like Maltese, maths and English because we’re once again experiencing a serious teacher shortage.”
“Students at a number of schools are only receiving half or fewer of their allotted lessons and, during the remaining lessons, are left staring at the walls. Meanwhile, students who want to become teachers are losing heart at the university course and the upshot is that we don’t have enough professionals in classes. Third world education.”
Schembri told Lovin Malta he has been informed at least three secondary schools are facing this problem. He said that in some instances, students haven’t even met their respective teachers yet.
Educators have been flagging a looming crisis in the industry for years and have urged the government to drastically increase the salaries of teachers so as to make the profession more attractive for youths.
The Education Ministry recently admitted that there aren’t enough qualified teachers for certain subjects and said the government will issue a call for foreign supply teachers to make up for this shortage.
However, this hasn’t gone down well with the Malta Union of Teachers and the Union of Professional Educators, who have warned it is nothing but a stopgap solution to structural problems within the teaching sector.