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MALTATODAY 22 January 2023

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maltatoday | SUNDAY • 27 MARCH 2022 OPINION 3 LETTERS & EDITORIAL maltatoday | SUNDAY • 22 JANUARY 2023 Mikiel Galea Letters & Clarifications Right of reply of Mr Jack Mann REFERENCE is made to the article entitled "Malta police stop Prince Har- ry's pal and group of 14 from suspicious Libya flight" reported on the MaltaTo- day edition of 18 December 2022. The article is misleading and inaccu- rate in a number of respects. 1. Mr Mann and a group of individu- als had been engaged to deliver medical training in Libya. On arrival at Malta airport, they were stopped and spoken to by the Maltese border authorities. The group were read a statement and told there were concerns that they might be travelling to Libya in breach of sanctions. These concerns were in fact unfounded. 2. Contrary to some reporting, none of the group were arrested. 3. While certain paperwork subse- quently had to be rectified, having been prepared by the Libyan government authorities, there were no "fake certifi- cates" as the article wrongly claims and the issue was resolved swiftly. 4. The United Nations has reviewed the matter and confirmed that the group's activities would not be a vio- lation of or non-compliance with the relevant sanctions regime. The group is therefore free to deliver the training. Thomas Rudkin, Farrer & Co London International day of education TUESDAY 24th January is the Inter- national Day of Education, a day to re-evaluate our education as well as to identify and address the issues of our education. The Malta 2022 Country Report states: "Due to a tight labour market and relatively poor education outcomes, shortages of workers and skills have increased in recent years... Moreover, a large percentage of pupils fail to achieve a minimum proficiency level, and underachievement in basic skills is particularly high among disadvantaged students." Various changes in our education system have taken place throughout the years, changes which directly affected students with disabilities. These chang- es were never discussed with us NGOs and we were never informed about the changes. The NGOs learn about the sit- uation of our education system through the parents, and this when things are not working well. This situation is unacceptable. Throughout the years, the Malta Fed- eration of Organisations Persons with Disability kept voicing its concern about this practice and things never changed. We have a system where the student must adapt to the curriculum, instead the other way round. Notwithstanding the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) stating that: "3. State Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community." Many students with disabilities are coming out of our system lacking life and social development skills. MFOPD notes that students with disabilities are finishing their obligatory educational years not yet ready for the life outside school and for employment. The insti- tutions available where students with an intellectual impairment can continue their development are much to be de- sired. As stated in Malta's 2022 Country Re- port, "Public expenditure on education is above the EU average and increased in the last decade". Notwithstanding, our results are what they are. MFOPD augurs that this year's Inter- national Day of Education brings about changes. The involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in the decision-making which affects them lies at the heart of the UNCRPD, reflecting the slogan of the disability movement 'nothing about us without us'. Marthese Mugliette President, MFOPD

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