I will not enter into a policy auction - Joseph Muscat
PL Leader Joseph Muscat announced this evening that he will not enter into a policy auction with the PN, adding that the PL’s policies have been worked on for the past three years. The PL’s politics will always be that of ‘positive politics’ he pledged. “I believe a lot of people are responding well to this attitude".
Speaking on tablets and finance at a political event in Isla, "the PL already know how much their proposals cost and where the money will come from," he said. The apparatus which the Labour Party would give would belong to the kids and won’t be leased to them. He emphasised his worry on students who go through school without the proper grasp of the Maltese or the English language. IT literacy is imperative for people in the job market today and this is something which a PL Government will attempt to tackle.
He spoke on the constraints teachers face day to day, explaining that the PL will give a further the freedoms of the educators, giving them the opportunity to get creative. “We need to arm our children with the knowledge of the technology which will be used in the future,” he added.
He spoke on the PL and PN positions on education, brushing off claims that both parties education plans are similar, particularly when it comes to tablets. The PL will use tablets and ICT not from the technological standpoint, but for the education of the children. “It’s only part of the whole puzzle which will piece together our education system”. This plan will help those who come from a disadvantaged background Dr Muscat held.
The PL will raise Stipends pro-rata according to the COLA, Dr Muscat added, “stipends have been frozen for far too long”.
Education, Tablets and more Tablets
Debating the tablet bombardment which this country has been shelled with, several experts within the educational field let loose and gave their oppinions on the issue.
Ex-director of education Frederick Fearne is happy the PL introduced the tablet in one year, rather than giving them to all students, as this will allow all the problems to be 'weeded out' before further expanding the scheme.
Addressing the issue, University Lecturer Carmen Sammut renounced the idea of the tablet being a godsend sollution for the education industry, but rather argued that it must be accompanied with a solid education strategy.
The tools used for educational purposes change each year so they aren’t important, Head of ICT at the University of Malta Ernest Cachia argued. “What is important is the kind of information these tools can help our students acquire. A child needs the world at his fingertips and needs access to the internet for research”.
"I've been receiving calls all day regarding the distribution of free heartburn tablets," Presenter John Bundy joked, bringing a breathe of light-hearted humour to the issue.
Ex-school head Salvina Muscat argued the importance of granting a certain degree of freedom to teachers. “There’s a lot of tension within the ranks of Maltese teachers, particularly for those who teach in Primary Schools. If they have the necessary space to be creative, they will be able to help those falling behind".
PL candidate Evarist Bartolo revealed that a third of Maltese children are falling behind for a number of reasons, however one in five being at risk of poverty plays a large contribution. With regards to the PL proposals, he admitted that what has been revealed is just the tip of the iceberg.
Ex- Malta Union of Teachers President John Bencini argued that teachers are treated like children. They are told exactly what to do, but they should have the space to teach as needed, he reiterated. “The PL has said that we need to work closely with teachers, and this is a good idea”.