Teachers of PSD concerned that their subject may suffer from primary instructor shortage

‘Ignoring PSD would be in violation of the national education framework.’ – Malta PSD Association

Teachers in the subject have said that primary school children require classes in Personal and Social Development (PSD) to serve as a safe space to communicate issues and fears, according to a statement from the Malta PSD Association. According to the association, if primary school teachers had a syllabus of academic subjects, they might not have the time to perform these lessons.

The remarks come after the teachers’ union filed a grievance with the government over the potential of filling elementary school vacancies with educators who teach non-academic areas. PSD instructors, for example, would be required to take over a primary classroom and focus on academic subjects rather than personal and social development.

Just before children return to school next week, it was revealed earlier this week that public schools are short about 80 primary school teachers.

According to the statement, there had been “adequate time” for the issue to be resolved after last year’s shortage, which was created by the necessity to have fewer pupils per classroom due to COVID-19 constraints, resulting in the demand for more teachers.

“By addressing this issue in this manner, we are contradicting our own national curriculum framework, which promotes quality education for all and the principles it holds dear,” it stated. “We would also like to emphasise the importance of both academic and non-academic courses, as students require a holistic education that encompasses the academic, physical, creative, and social aspects of their lives,” the association continued.

The attitude that academic courses are more important will be fostered by excluding non-academic disciplines such as PSD, theatre, art, and music, according to PSD instructors.

“Moreover, the problem will keep incurring in the later years when the students will be doing the subjects without a proper basis. “Since we are currently living in a global pandemic, non-academic subjects are more important than ever, where students can express themselves in numerous ways.”

The association has urged officials to ensure that pupils receive “a appropriate number of PSD sessions per term” and that the shortfalls be resolved before the start of the school year.

The Union of Professional Educators has also announced that it will file a dispute over the Education Ministry’s decision, claiming that many peripatetic, complementary, and services teachers still don’t know where they’ll be teaching or what grade they’ll be assigned with “literally hours before the school year begins.”