Value teach­ers, im­prove their sta­tus – MUT says on World Teach­ers Day

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The Malta Union of Teach­ers yes­ter­day com­mem­o­rated World Teach­ers Day 2016, held an­nu­ally on 5 Oc­to­ber, with the theme Valu­ing Teach­ers, Im­prov­ing their Sta­tus.

This is the of­fi­cial theme adopted by UNESCO and Ed­u­ca­tion In­ter­na­tional, and is an op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate the teach­ing pro­fes­sion and to pro­mote the ILO/UNESCO Rec­om­men­da­tion con­cern­ing the Sta­tus of Teach­ers (1966) and the UNESCO Rec­om­men­da­tion con­cern­ing the Sta­tus of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Teach­ing Per­son­nel (1997).

These in­stru­ments de­fine in­ter­na­tional stan­dards for the teach­ing pro­fes­sion. The theme, Valu­ing Teach­ers, Im­prov­ing their Sta­tus, marks the cel­e­bra­tion of the 50th an­niver­sary of the adop­tion of the ILO/UNESCO Rec­om­men­da­tion on the Sta­tus of Teach­ers.

To­day Ed­u­ca­tion In­ter­na­tional (EI), with its af­fil­i­ates world­wide in­clud­ing the Malta Union of Teach­ers, is stress­ing that the Rec­om­men­da­tion’s pur­pose to im­prove the pro­fes­sional sta­tus and work­ing con­di­tions of teach­ers is more ur­gent than ever.

Ev­i­dence from EI re­search and other stud­ies shows a de­cline in global teacher sta­tus and con­di­tions over the last few years, mainly due to (1) Sub-stan­dard teacher prepa­ra­tion pro­grammes and the re­cruit­ment of un­qual­i­fied per­son­nel; (2) In­fringe­ments on aca­demic free­dom and pro­fes­sional au­ton­omy; (3) Se­ri­ous vi­o­la­tions of teach­ers’ hu­man and trade union rights; and (4) Poor salaries and work­ing con­di­tions, quite of­ten less than those of pro­fes­sion­als with com­pa­ra­ble qual­i­fi­ca­tions in other sec­tors.

The MUT said it agrees with EI that this neg­a­tive trend must be re­versed. Gov­ern­ments and em­ploy­ers have an obli­ga­tion to en­sure that teach­ers are val­ued, hon­oured and re­spected. Valu­ing teach­ers and all ed­u­ca­tion per­son­nel should en­tail the pro­vi­sion of de­cent work­ing con­di­tions; well­re­sourced, safe and healthy work­ing en­vi­ron­ments; trust; pro­fes­sional au­ton­omy; aca­demic free­dom; high qual­ity ini­tial train­ing and con­tin­u­ous pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment, among oth­ers.

Mean­while, lo­cally the MUT is ne­go­ti­at­ing two agree­ments that are of di­rect in­ter­est to all ed­u­ca­tors. The first one is the Sec­toral Agree­ment, which is the agree­ment reg­u­lat­ing the ed­u­ca­tion class in State Schools, and which will di­rectly af­fect church schools in their re­spec­tive agree­ment. The sec­ond agree­ment is the Civil Ser­vice Agree­ment, which is the one reg­u­lat­ing the gen­eral con­di­tions of all civil ser­vants (in­clud­ing State School ed­u­ca­tors). The lat­ter, ne­go­ti­ated to­gether with other Trade Unions rep­re­sent­ing civil ser­vice grades in other sec­tors, also has a di­rect ef­fect on Church schools and a num­ber of Independent Schools since it in­cludes the salary scale sys­tem. Both these ex­er­cises at Na­tional level are clear ef­forts to en­sure that ed­u­ca­tors are val­ued, hon­oured and re­spected in a very tan­gi­ble man­ner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.