Current Affairs
Minister says he wants to address shortcomings in education to ensure no one falls behind

Minister Owen Bonnici has stated that as Minister for Education he will be working, among other issues, to tackle shortcomings in the system to ensure no one falls behind and for more persons to continue with their studies, even after the age of 25. In reference to teachers’ unions, Dr Bonnici said contact had already been made, and he will be meeting with them shortly. Minister Bonnici was visiting the Ekoskola fair at San Ġorġ Preca College in Ħamrun.

Minister Bonnici declared his first priority is for quality of service to continue progressing, for the good of the students. Dr Bonnici added that certain students had social or other difficulties, among them students who could not converse in Maltese or English. These difficulties, the Minister added, have to be tackled. Dr Bonnici stated that he will work towards eradicating the idea that the educational process has to end at 18 or 25.

TVM asked Dr Bonnici how he plans to tackle the challenges referred to by teachers’ unions. “I will shortly be meeting with the relevant unions in this sector, and I want to listen. I am aware that the issue of teachers, that the teachers are the centre of the educational system, is a priority, and I want our teachers and LSEs to feel part of the educational success our country is experiencing.”

The Ekoskola fair is being held over three days at the San Ġorġ Preca College in Ħamrun, and over 600 students have visited it so far.

Started in 2002, Ekoskola provides environmental education for students. The President of Nature Trust Malta, Vince Attard, who is also a coordinator of the Ekoskola programmes, said the programme is being implemented in 85% of the schools. “They are seeing fair trade, they are seeing alternatives to plastic, how one can grow trees, how to take care of animals, waste separation, we have prayer spaces. A choice of things which show what is available for the children to improve their education.”

Mr Attard added that the Ekoskola fair is part of education for sustainable development with the aim of getting the children to absorb ideas towards working for a better environment, and all this under one roof.