Muscat uncomfortable with uniformed school guards
Labour Leader Joseph Muscat is not comfortable with people running around in uniforms in schools, but the issue of security must be addressed, he explained.
Dr Muscat told di-ve.com that together with the Malta Union of Teachers, a plan will be devised to see how the educational institutions can be better protected. In some schools, the installation of CCTV cameras would be enough, he argued, but in other schools other methods would be needed. Speaking on the idea of uniformed security guards, he said that if this is needed then security guards would need special training as well as strict regulations as to their conduct and rules of engagement. “We would also need to see what kind of security would be used, be it private security, wardens or police constables”. Dr Muscat believes that a new campaign is needed to re-establish the respect of teachers.
When asked by di-ve.com about tablet repairs, Dr Muscat explained that tablets would be covered by an all-encompassing comprehensive insurance policy. He explained that the likely option for the tablet proposal in general, would see the PL give money to parents to buy the tablets themselves, with the required specifications. Maltese companies will be informed as to what these specifications are. This will allow for fair competition, however emphasised that the PL are still looking into other prospective methods of handling this proposal, he said. The PL Leader emphasised that tablet proposals from both parties are quite similar, as whilst the PN would see students from multiple years receive a tablet immediately, effectively the PL strategy would see the same as students would carry tablets from year to year. The project would cost €1.5 million per 4,000 students each year, he explained, adding that this is based on on-shelf prices.
Dr Muscat spoke about the current education system. He told di-ve.com that currently, there are schools which specialise in sports for people undertaking their MATSEC examinations. “We want to expand this for students of the arts,” he said, adding that the PL plan to introduce an Arts School at tertiary-education level.
All children aged 16 and over who are not in education or employment should be offered further training, Dr Muscat said, adding that this will help identify problems and give them the necessary skills in an attempt to lure them back into education or help them land a proper job. He stated that this particular sector of society are at high-risk of entering criminal activities and through this proposal, the PL will attempt to tackle the problem.
The Labour Leader described benefits which the party would introduce, in order to entice working people to re-enter education. The PL will introduce a system where unemployed people, or people who decide to take a break from their career to enter higher education will be given an unemployment grant as well as a stipend to re-enter education. Dr Muscat concluded that if elected, the PL will double the tax credit for people wanting to get a PHD to €20,000.