Students of Maria Regina Primary School were left shocked and stranded when they arrived for school this morning, only to find its doors shut.
Schools reopened today following a winter break but a last-minute teacher’s strike resulted in confusion and chaos as some schools decided to stay closed, including the Qawra primary school, leaving parents and students stranded outside.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, parents expressed their outrage and disappointment at the school’s decision to not open.
“Qawra has shut its doors leaving children and parents outside without explanation,” a concerned parent told Lovin Malta.
“Some children arrived via school transport or by foot. Who is taking responsibility for the fate of these kids? Will school transport bring them back home to their empty houses?” she said.
According to several parents, those children brought by public transport were left waiting outside with no clarification as to whether transport was provided for them to return home.
“Qawra Primary has decided not to open. If somebody sent their kids to school with public transport or by themselves, make sure they are ok, or call their parents. Kids have been left stranded outside,” a parent posted on Facebook.
A text message sent by the school this morning claimed it would reopen, however the reality was far different.
Lovin Malta attempted to contact but they have yet to respond.
The Malta Union of Teachers called a last-minute two-day strike following a late-night emergency meeting with Prime Minister Robert Abela, Education Minister Justyne Caruana and health authorities to discuss the reopening of schools.
“The education authorities shouldn’t have ignored the health authorities’ advice for schools to reopen as though there isn’t a problem,” said MUT president Marco Bonnici. “COVID-19 cases are increasing and we don’t yet know what the impact of the new virus variant will be.”
The strike follows a spike in COVID-19 cases, with 224 new cases confirmed yesterday, a record daily rise since the start of the pandemic.
However, not everyone agrees with the union’s strike, especially parents who feel betrayed by the decision and who are now forced to scramble to quickly figure out how to juggle their work with their children’s needs.
Have you been affected by this strike? Contact us at [email protected]