The increase in population and the concentration of foreign families in St Paul’s Bay has led to the primary school which is attended by more than 1000 students to instal pre-fabricated classes equipped with facilities for teachers and students.
As from the next scholastic year, these students are expected to be distributed in a new school which is being built in Qawra at an investment of €12 million.
The student population at the St Paul’s Bay primary school is made up 1100 children, 800 of whom are foreign students from 50 different countries.
In comments to TVM, the principal at Maria Regina College, Patrick Decelis, said that because of the increase in students each year, arrangements have been made for their schooling to start from Naxxar or Għargħur.
“In this case since there is a problem of space, these students are doing their Induction Hub in Naxxar, which each year is dealing with around 100 children. As soon as they finish from their Induction Hub in Naxxar in order not to create a bigger problem for the school, those 100 students will go to the Għargħur school. This happened last year and in the previous year as well. So in all, there are 1oo at Għargħur and 100 at the Induction Hub.”
Mr Decelis explained that there are also temporary pre-fabricated classes at the school with all the necessary facilities.
”There are these 10 pre-fabricated classes and the two which were added recently in order to have one on one counselling sessions there or to hold small groups. At the same time, you have the Induction Hub which is taking those who have just arrived who do not know either English or Maltese. So to date, we are managing to cope.’
There are no plans to close this school when the new school in Qawra is opened.
”We will take half of the students which are here and in that way there will be two schools: one in St Paul’s Bay and the other in Qawra. Don’t forget that this school does not only take children from St Paul’s, Qawra and Bugibba but also other places such as Burmarrad and Xemxija which have also increased in population.”
Construction of the new school in Qawra is moving along at a brisk pace. The architect in charge of the project, Joseph Attard said that 500 students will be able to attend this school which will also include other facilities for the community.
”There will be sports facilities, a gymnasium, childcare and other things such as a science lab and a school library. Basically, we are making an investment of around €12 million and the target is that in September 2019 we will welcome our first students.”
In this way, the area of St Paul’s Bay will have two good-sized primary schools.