Survey part of new edition of publication “Il-Ħsieb” by the Malta Union of Teachers
Following the reopening of schools in October 2020, a host of new practices were introduced as mitigation measures due to the pandemic. As a proactive union, the MUT has evaluated these practices, introduced in Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary schools, with the aim of understanding the impact and to be in a better situation to assess whether there are grounds to keep some of them in the post pandemic period, or when ‘normality’ would have been re-established. The original intention by the education authorities was to implement them temporarily for the duration of this scholastic year 2020-2021, but a survey by the MUT shows that respondents think many of them should either be retained or kept with some changes to make them more effective and applicable to their situation.
According to the survey, which was filled in by 328 educators and was conducted during the period between 29th April and 10th May 2021, many of the new practices were very popular with respondents. These include:
- virtual schools for students with a long-term illness (93.3% agree it should be kept)
- request for medical certificates to students of all ages certifying they are fit for school following sickness (85.1%)
- the use of an online platform (84.5%)
- the recorded lessons on Teleskola as supplementary resources to students (83.9%)
- single groups in kindergarten as opposed to double groups in some classes (83.5%)
- online parents’ days (81.2%)
- staggered arrival/dismissal of students (78.3%)
- the grab and go breakfast for students attending Breakfast club (71.5%)
- Other practices mentioned by educators that should be kept include hygiene practices, reduction in the number of students in class, use of technology particularly for meetings and increased security.
On the other hand, practices that should be discarded include recorded lessons for option subjects and selection of subjects instead of lessons in person (68.8% think they should be discarded). Other practices had mixed reactions, including home-class grouping instead of sets in Secondary schools, staggered breaks and online records of student attendance for all lessons in Secondary schools instead of online records once in the morning only. Educators also mentioned practices to be discarded once the pandemic is over, including the many COVID-19 restrictions, Peripatetic teachers doing replacements, bare classrooms and non-compulsory schooling.
MUT President Marco Bonnici stated that “educators are often incorrectly portrayed as opposing and hostile to all changes when this couldn’t be further from the truth. The results of survey like this one show, in effect, that educators are open to changes if these are reasonable and right within their school’s circumstances and if educators are involved in these decisions.”
The MUT will be analysing the results in more detail and the outcomes of this survey shall assist the union to formulate its respective positions for prospective discussions with the Ministry for Education. The MUT thanks all those who participated in the survey and provided their feedback.
MUT publishes second edition of “Il-Ħsieb”
The full results of the survey can be found on the second edition of “Il-Ħsieb”, which the MUT has just published. This publication has various informative articles related to the educational and trade unionistic sectors. It complements other regular and more immediate electronic updates sent to members. Apart from the survey, this edition covers issues such as the value of the MTL dissertation in practice, an article on literacy and football, standards for meaningful e-learning, the 20 years of MCAST, some observations related to the pandemic and a quick look into the first year of Fondazzjoni Sagħtar.
Click HERE to view the publication including the survey.