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Teachers’ Union Hits Out At Call To Raise Malta’s Compulsory Education Age To 18: ‘Schools Are Not Producers Of Workers’

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A proposal by the Chamber of Commerce to increase the mandatory education age from 16 to 18 has been met with fierce resistance by the Malta Union of Teachers.

“Decisions about the educational system and educators cannot be taken by the chamber through its sole interest for businesses,” the MUT said.

“The educational system is bowing too much to the interest of businesses and this has to stop. Schools are not producers of workers to meet the needs of businesses, but education is a holistic experience being provided to individuals to enable them to reach their potential beyond employment needs.”

The union went on to warn that business influence is leading to low-level training programmes to match the needs of the private sector, rather than the need for students to be given a “holistic educational experience”.

“Businesses want to shrug off their responsibilities to train new workers for their immediate needs by expecting educational institutions to carry out training through the proposed extended compulsory school age,” the MUT said.

Malta Chamber of Commerce CEO Marthese Portelli launching the workplace strategy

Malta Chamber of Commerce CEO Marthese Portelli launching the workplace strategy

“The Chamber would best see how some businesses are encouraging young students from discontinuing their studies after few years of post-secondary education by luring students through initially attractive salaries with students ending up without certification.”

“The MUT would have expected the Chamber to address the shortcomings of its business members rather than shifting the same towards the educational system which is beyond their competence.”

Earlier today, the Chamber of Commerce presented the government and the Opposition with a national strategy aimed at strengthening the Maltese workforce.

One of their proposals calls for the age of compulsory education to be gradually increased from 16 to 18, including at least two years of post-secondary education.

The gradual implementation is paramount to mitigate impacts on labour force,” it said.

Do you think Malta should increase its compulsory education age? 

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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