State-run summer school SkolaSajf is staring down the barrel of overcrowded classrooms and understaffed facilities, a union has warned, with educators unwilling to work through summer for a pittance.

In a statement issued on Tuesday morning, the Union of Professional Educators – Voice of the Workers said that it had received several reports over the weekend of a low turnout of educators and precarious working conditions at SkolaSajf.

The union blamed the situation on the Education Ministry and Foundation for Educational Services, and noted that problems were likely to worsen when teachers working at the summer school called in sick, went on holiday or quit.

“Unless educators are going to be remunerated in a decent way [the ministry and the foundation] will keep on finding the same problems year in year out,” the UPE said. “Teachers being paid €5.91 an hour is an equivalent rate that others jobs in the hospitality industry offer.”

The union also had a dig at the Malta Union of Teachers, saying it was “surprised” that the MUT had not taken action over the past years to improve wages offered to teachers. 

It urged its members to get in touch if they had any issues or queries related to the summer school. 

SkolasSajf is offered to children aged between 3 and 16 in various centres around Malta and Gozo. This year, it began on July 16 and will run until September 7.

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