School class room

The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry said that it is following with interest the developments related to the reopening of schools after the Christmas recess.

On Wednesday, the Malta Union of Teachers ordered a two-day strike on the eve of State schools reopening after the Christmas holidays. Church schools have already taken the decision switch to remote learning until Friday, and will reassess whether to reopen physically this Sunday.

The Chamber had stated in August and September that it was crucial for schools to remain open during this scholastic year.

“The experience of the first term has proved that schools are well equipped to implement social distancing, and the educational experience was a success.”

The Malta Chamber acknowledged the Public Health Authorities statements in saying that there is no scientific-based evidence which shows that schools should remain closed or be shifted to obligatory virtual schooling.

“This will wreak havoc not only for schools and teachers themselves but more importantly, it will have long-lasting impacts on the students due to a lack of interaction with their peers and the continued pressure on working parents to stay at home leaving some economic sectors without their essential human resources at a time when the economy can least afford more interruptions.”

The Chamber therefore called on teachers and all state, church and independent schools to keep on adhering to the strict health protocols introduced at the beginning of this scholastic year and allow the Health Authorities to give guidance in accordance with medical evidence.

On Thursday, the MUT announced through social media that it had been summoned for an emergency meeting on the same day (today) at Castille with the Prime Minister and the Education Minister.

Prior to calling the strike, the MUT had called for schools to go online due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases, but it said this was shot down by the Government.

The Government has insisted there was no advice by the health authorities to keep schools shut but only recommendations to strengthen mitigation measures.

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