Cassola slams ‘partisan’ school visit, calls for ombudsman investigation

Labour MEP candidate's visit latest in 'partisan' activities held at public schools, previously reported by The Shift.


Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.

The Office of the Ombudsman has been asked to investigate a Labour Party MEP candidate’s visit to a Gozo primary school after online photos sparked partisanship concerns.

On Wednesday, independent politician Arnold Cassola wrote a letter to the Ombudsman Commissioner for Education Vincent De Gaetano and Education Minister Clifton Grima, calling Grima’s behaviour “unacceptable.”

Cassola said that by allowing an MEP candidate to visit the Gozo school, Grima allowed partisan behaviour favouring the Labour Party, despite advocating against politicians’ school visits.

The letter referred to a school visit by Labour Party MEP candidate Thomas Bajada. Bajada posted photos of the visit on Tuesday, saying the visit was made “to discuss accessibility to EU funding for the benefit of Gozitan children.”

In his letter, Cassola called on Minister Grima not to allow schoolchildren and staff members “to be used for partisan purposes”. He called on Commissioner De Gaetano to “open an investigation on the unacceptable behaviour.”

Bajada’s visit was promoted on Facebook by both Bajada himself and the Gozo College Roza Magro primary school in Xewkija. However, a visit to the school’s Facebook page shows that the school removed the post.

The Gozitan school also promoted the “partisan” visit. The post has since been removed.

The Shift had previously reported similar instances in which the Labour Party used public school premises to host partisan campaigning events.

Over the past months, the Labour Party has used state schools’ halls and theatres to host political events on Sundays in the run-up to the European Parliament elections.

Concerns have been raised among school staff and parents due to the confirmed occurrence of such events in at least two public schools, one in Kirkop and one in Qawra.

Following Cassola’s letter, Commissioner De Gaetano is now expected to investigate the school visits and issue recommendations on the matter.


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1 month ago

“Following Cassola’s letter, Commissioner De Gaetano is now expected to investigate the school visits and issue recommendations on the matter.”
Which will be promptly ignored by the authorities!

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