At a glance, education has become a top priority more than ever in the Labour Party’s manifesto for the upcoming general election. Proposals addressing education can be seen implemented throughout every facet of the manifesto. We translated and dissected 10 key proposals from the manifesto, so you don’t have to.
1. Education and tools for everyone
This proposal reflects the core principles of social justice. All students should have the best tools available to excel in their education and eventual future. Primary and Secondary Level students who come from families that generate a yearly income of less than €14,300 will be entitled to basic wireless internet access and a school uniform each year.
2. Building a library from a young age
Primary School children will be given a set of books on a yearly basis which will help children build a mini library from their early years and enrich themselves with literature and invest in critical thinking skills. Coupled with another proposal, which will see the modernisation of Maltese and Gozitan public libraries.
3. Incorporating Mental Health in Education
A post-pandemic world has left us with another curve to flatten: our mental health. The manifesto takes this into account: it proposes a greater presence of psychologists and youth workers in our schools, to help children with any issues they may be struggling with.
4. Better wages for educators
The manifesto takes into account the fact that an educator’s income should match up to their work and responsibilities. Educators (teachers, childcare and kindergarten workers etc.) A new administration will see that once collective agreements reach the time of renewal, a considerable increase in salaries will be implemented, during the course of the next five years.
5. Modernising the University of Malta
The University of Malta has a rich history and boasts a leading status as one of the nation’s leading higher education institutions. A Labour Government will increase and strengthen current scholarship programmes and tax credits, and create new schemes and funds to help students specialise further in their desired area of expertise. A new arts and sports complex for the University is also envisaged in the manifesto. This complex will be used by the Department of Health and Physical Education and the Department of Performing Arts of the University. The building will also be coupled with an underground parking lot.
6. Education: No one left behind
Two particular proposals in the manifesto bodes well with the above sentiment. A new administration will strengthen current ‘summer catch-up’ classes to help students to catch up with their studies. While these lessons are not obligatory, they are a great way to help students gear up for the scholastic year ahead. Furthermore, the Alternative Learning Programme and the GEM 16+ will be further improved.
7. An Increase in Stipends
Monthly stipends will see a further increase of 15% in the upcoming legislature, if a Labour Government is re-elected.
8. Expanding MCAST’s horizons
In order to increase craftsmanship opportunities, MCAST will see a new institution for craftsmanship which will offer accredited learning and certification, incorporated with practical work. There will also be an expansion of the school’s auditorium and sports facilities.
9. An extension to Teaching Practice payment
Students aspiring to become the educators of the future have started receiving an income for ‘teaching practice’, aspiring kindergarten teachers and Learning Support Educators will also start benefiting from payment during the course of their teaching practice.
10. Better learning environments
While a corral of school buildings will go through renovations, the manifesto also proposes a €20,000,000 investment for the modernisation of school science laboratories and the installation of air conditioning systems in classrooms and staff rooms.