UPE Articles

Permanent Secretary receives ‘Pudina Prize’ after student-teacher blunder

It is our great privilege and honour to award the Permanent Secretary, Dr Frank Fabri, the coveted ‘Pudina Prize’. The UPE today delivered a ‘Pudina’ to Dr Fabri as a gesture to help him realise that his latest manoeuvre is unwarranted in the eyes of the Union and of many prospective student-teachers. 
The backdrop to the award is this — following our 14 October win in the court case/saga of the peripatetic teachers, the Permanent Secretary has not given up trying to find various ways to undermine the Union’s directives. 

In the latest twist to the story, the Ministry, led by the Permanent Secretary, called on MTL students to fill the gaping holes in the education sector by assigning them to schools different from those they had been told some weeks previously. Those student-teachers were understandably upset since, true to form, the Ministry decided to inform them just a few days before the commencement of their teaching placement. A wonderful marketing strategy created by the Ministry to attract more educators to the the sector, to be sure! 

We have taken on the responsibility to contact these students and explain to them the way forward. We will remain in contact with them to assist them whenever the need arises. 
The general public should see the Ministry’s action for what it is. A cynical use of student-teachers to cover its own failures. Its biggest failure is reflected in the scant number of young people choosing to enter the education sector, even though the Ministry continues, to this day, to tout the ‘historic agreement’ signed between it and the MUT.

Sources close to the union have hinted that the student-teacher move is a stop-gap measure for the remaining five weeks of the Christmas term. Rumors are circulating that the government will remove all current Covid-19 restrictions some time during December thereby allowing schools to operate at pre-Covid level from January 2022. 

We think it would be unfair to make the ‘Pudina Prize’ a one-off affair. We are sure this will not be the only time that the UPE will award such a prestigious prize. In fact, we predict that there might be a bread shortage in the coming months since the Ministry will likely deserve to receive more of these awards.

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