Ombudsman calls for MCAST dispute to be resolved

The Office of the Ombudsman, through the Commissioner for Education, has expressed grave concern over the industrial dispute between the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) and the Malta Union of Teachers (MUT) that has left nearly 8,000 students in limbo regarding their assessments and final examinations.

The crisis stems from directives issued by the MUT last month, which instructed its members to withhold and delay the processing of assessment marks, refuse to invigilate examinations and boycott viva voce assessments.

The instructions are part of a raft of directives issued by the union in May after talks over a new collective agreement failed.

As a result, students, including those in their final year, are left uncertain about their progression and future academic prospects.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Ombudsman acknowledged the fundamental right of educators to engage in industrial action to voice legitimate grievances.

Still, he emphasised that this should be done to minimise harm to third parties, such as the students.

The Ombudsman’s statement also urged both parties to refrain from using the students’ plight as leverage and to avoid intransigence.

The Commissioner for Education called upon MCAST and the MUT to engage in open and constructive dialogue to resolve the dispute, underscoring that educators and the college exist to provide the fundamental service of educating youth.

The Commissioner also stressed that students have a right to know their results without undue or unnecessary delay, and both parties should prioritise finding a resolution that safeguards the interests of the students caught in the crossfire.


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Mark Bartolo
Mark Bartolo
27 days ago

What everyone seems to be missing is that if the directives are upheld until the end of academic year ie first week of July, then even if directives are lifted, students won’t get the marks as lecturers would be on summer holidays.

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