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Watch: Busuttil promises better conditions for teachers

Says ITS would remain in St Julian's

The Nationalist Party has promised continuity in education because it was a sector which could not take disruptions.

Launching a wide array of proposals for the sector, PN leader Simon Busuttil said his government would refrain from any radical reforms to keep a sense of stability and continuity.

His government would increase funds for research and promised to improve working conditions for teachers and learning support assistants.

Addressing a press conference, Dr Busuttil presented eight proposals on education in compulsory schools and another eight for post-secondary and higher education.

He said the PN was vouching to give teachers the respect they deserved, including an improvement in salaries and working conditions. More importantly, it wanted to “let teachers teach” by relieving them of some of their load.

Moreover, the PN promised to introduce a code of discipline and behaviour for students.

Retired teachers and LSAs will be encouraged to return to work, even at reduced or flexible hours.

Pledge to open school of performing arts

The Nationalist Party also promised a school of performing arts, similar to that on sport opened by a previous PN administration. Moreover, the relationship with church and private schools will be strengthened.

On the Malta College for Arts, Sciences and Technology, Dr Busuttil said his government would give teachers and students a boost through better and more modern facilities. Moreover, his government would address the problem where engineers qualifying through MCAST were not being given their warrant.

Turning to the university, Dr Busuttil said this would be given total academic and financial autonomy through a problem law solely covering it. His government will increase the budget for research to three per cent of the GDP, from the present 0.6 per cent. It would also increase substantially the fund for scholarships for PhDs.

Turning to the Institute of Tourism Studies controversy, Dr Busuttil pledged that this institute will remain in St Julian’s, which he described as the heart of the tourism industry.

Asked whether this meant he would retract the agreement the present government had signed with the db Group, Dr Busuttil said he would await the conclusions of the Auditor General’s investigation before deciding.

He said the report would determine the future of the ITS site in Pembroke. If the auditor finds irregularities, a Nationalist government would repeal the agreement and the institute remains where it is today. If nothing wrong is found, then the government would find an alternative site in St Julian's. 

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