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Families Forced To Watch Livestreamed Graduations As Packed Political Rallies Occur Daily Across Malta

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After years of hard work – many of which were spent in the midst of a global pandemic – students are once again the victims of ever-rising double standards in Malta. 

Whilst the government has flaunted the removal of the majority of COVID-19 restrictions and mostly maskless mass political rallies and parties have become commonplace in Malta, university graduates’ families have once again been forced to watch their loved ones’ graduation ceremonies from separate halls where the ceremony is being live-streamed. 

This is not the first time that such graduation ceremonies have come under fire. In October last year, when the University announced how graduation ceremonies would be taking place under similar conditions as they are now, it caused quite an uproar.

When Lovin Malta spoke to a few graduate students in October, many questioned why parties and events were allowed and why graduates’ guests couldn’t stay in the same venue as the one where the ceremony was taking place. 

“If the graduation hall isn’t large enough to accompany both students and guests, then the ceremony should be split over a number of days, or different time slots, according to their department and programme. We’re vaccinated for a reason, and not allowing our guests to accompany us in the same hall for our graduation defeats the purpose,” one student said.

Whilst many are grateful that the ceremonies are being held at all, two years down the line, a jarring contrast is evident between the standards to which these ceremonies are held and compared to those of political rallies and parties which take place with little to no social distancing, no checking of vaccine certificates and often with no masks in sight.

So if Prime Minister Robert Abela truly believes that ‘il-mewġ qiegħed fil-bahar’ (the wave is in the sea), and the Health Authorities are lifting COVID-19 restrictions after almost 2 years, why are students’ hard-earned achievements still being brushed aside? And why are mass meetings and parties not held to the same standards and guidelines? 

These students are future and current members of the workforce. They deserve to have at least a semblance of respect, not just because of what they have achieved, but because it is the decent and right thing to do.

The government is in place to serve the people of Malta. The same people who pay their salaries and essentially put a roof over their heads. So, if they truly have faith in their COVID-19 recovery plans and they truly care about their voters’ interests and needs, rather than just their own, it’s high time that they show it.

Have you attended one of these ceremonies? If so, contact us with your thoughts and your experience.

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Amy is a university student with a keen interest in all things related to food, photography, press freedom, politics and justice. Send her any stories that might be of interest at [email protected]

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