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Education vs law and order

The situation at St Anne’s Primary School, Marsascala is going from bad to worse. As the population in Marsascala increases at the fastest rate on our islands, it is not helping the current situation where the school is already overcrowded and the hall was changed to makeshift classrooms. This situation led the school administration to limit the extra-curricular activities to the detriment of our young students.

As part of the previous Nationalist administration programme of building a new school every year, a new primary school was earmarked to be built to complement the present primary school and would have accommodated about 250 kinder and primary students. The current administration also promised to keep to this plan.

In a meeting held at the local council’s office in January 2014, the FTS director and architect said that the new Marsascala primary school project had the go ahead and would be completed within two years. The site plan, including detailed plans and building drawings were discussed at the local council offices. The school had to include underground parking facilities for the residents after school hours.

However, none of these plans and promises ever materialised.

On the contrary a new PA application notice was recently affixed at the existing primary school car park. Surprise, surprise, this application bears the name of Lawrence Cutajar, the Commissioner of Police, to build a new police station on the grounds of the only school car park available!

Many have been noticing the deterioration of law and order in Marsascala

Parents thought the extension of the school would see the light, but were utterly disappointed to see that the school project had been abandoned.

Parents could not understand the intention of building a two-storey police station just in front of St Anne’s Primary school. This is not on.

My suggestion to the authorities is not to persist with the application of building the new police station on the school grounds and to get all stakeholders together to find a solution both for the school extension and for a central police office.

Apart from the issues mentioned above, it’s hard to imagine slow walkers and disabled persons walking up the steep hill to the new police station. Not to mention that the access is restricted twice a day with children going up and down to school and that the parking problem will increase in the area if this car park is removed too.

We all agree that Marsascala residents need a decent police station urgently to fulfill the day-to-day running of law enforcement and order. Many have been noticing the deterioration of law and order in Marsascala and the police force needs to address this issue immediately.

There are definitely other suitable locations and options available to host a police station in the village core. The container turned into an office and presently used as a police station is shameful and not the solution.

All that is needed is for the Office of the Prime Minister to act in the same fast way it  did to find a good location for the American University of Malta to accommodate foreign students in our locality.

My suggestion to the authorities is not to persist with the application of building the new police station on the school grounds and to get all stakeholders together to find a solution both for the school extension and for a central police office.

John Baptist Camilleri is a Nationalist candidate for the general election on the third electoral district.

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