The Malta Union of Teachers has said in a statement that “plans for a new Primary school in Victoria, Gozo, reveal no new school but an extension of Middle School.” The students and Educators deserve better,” it said.
The union said that it has seen a copy of the plans being submitted by the FTS to the Planning Authority and rather than building a new school, “plans reveal a proposal to carry out an extension to the existing building of the Middle School in Victoria to house Childcare, Kindergarten and Primary school students.”
The Union pointed out that the Middle School in Victoria, which it said has been refurbished in the past years, already has limited outdoor space and facilities and has to use the school facilities of the adjacent Secondary School.
It added that the proposed extensions will drastically reduce the outdoor space, which is required in any school, “leading to insufficient facilities for the existing Middle School students and the proposed Childcare, Kindergarten and Primary School students.”
Furthermore, it said, the proposal means that “one of the schools will be sandwiched between the other one and the existing Sports Complex.”
“This has implications due to the resulting limited exposition of classrooms to direct sunlight,” said the union.
It will also mean that the identity of both the Middle School and the Primary School will be lost, the union remarked.
On a visit by MUT officials to the Middle School,, it transpired that “the school community was aware about the plans whilst MEDE officials were denying, even with MUT, that there were any plans for the school.”
The MUT said that it would have expected that the school community, which includes educators at the two schools, were involved in discussions about the proposal.
The union also questioned why the current dilapidated building (known as Ninu Cremona block) in the same schools complex is not used as the site for the new Primary School.
It said that it “failed to understand how the block, which was always part of the schools complex, had been passed to the Museums department and was clearly never used and left in a dilapidated state.”
The Union affirmed that “the block is the natural area for the new primary school whilst an alternative site should be provided to the Museums department.”
The MUT appealed to the the Government “to rethink the proposal for the benefit of students and educators in both schools whist reaffirming that students and educators at the Primary school in Victoria cannot wait any longer to have the proposed new Primary school.”