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MUT was not consulted by anyone about tablets in classrooms

Mr Bonello (centre) speaking at the press conference.

Mr Bonello (centre) speaking at the press conference.

MUT president Kevin Bonello said today neither political party consulted the union before making proposals on giving tablets to school children.

Speaking at a press conference this morning, he said the MUT was not against the introduction of tablets as a classroom tool, but, he said, this was a reform which merited consultation with teachers.

He questioned whether the two political parties were listening to the teachers because. he said, so far very few of the proposals mentioned by the MUT had been mentioned in the campaigns.

The proposals, he said, included additional measures for safety in schools, measures against bullying, and tackling basic things such as cleanliness.

He noted that a report presented by the MUT last year showed that teachers were overwhelmed by rapid reforms. Therefore the MUT was surprised to hear about the tablets, which were another reform.

He said that other priorities needed to be taken in hand, such as reducing the number of pupils in order to enable teachers to better handle mixed ability classrooms.

He said that in the tablets issue one had to consider various issues, including the fact that current regulations do not allow wifi in state schools.

Furthermore, he said, teachers needed to be trained before tablets were introduced.

During the press conference Mr Bonello launched a new campaign called Together Against Abuse, which is an awareness campaign. He said that a minority of teachers were suffering various forms of abuse, notably verbal abuse, bullying from students and parents and being yelled at by other colleagues. Some had also suffered sexual harassment.

He said that within six working days there had been two physical attacks - against a teacher and an assistant of school. He said that an assistant head of school in a primary school was assaulted by a parent yesterday. The union was urging him to file a report to the police.

Mr Bonello said the MUT several months ago had called for security guards in schools and at last, the government had set a meeting for February 1.

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