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MT 25 May 2017

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maltatoday, THURSDAY, 25 MAY 2017 News 8 STEFAN PAUL GALEA ALTERNATTIVA Demokratika has called for a national debate on religious education inclusiv- ity in a bid to address the various diverse realities characterizing Maltese society. Candidate Mario Mallia said AD was stressing in its manifes- to the importance of a national discussion regarding religious knowledge and education in or- der to promote further inclusiv- ity. Mallia said that this should be done in order to address the various diverse realities that are characterizing our society. In a press conference at the MCAST building in Paola, Mal- lia elaborated further on AD's education proposals which he said were focused on three main aspects: work conditions, edu- cational policy and the student educational experience. Mallia emphasized that a task force should be launched with urgency in order to examine the reasons of why there has been a decrease in students taking on the teaching vocation. He added that educational re- sponsibilities needed better rec- ognition compared to what they have today. He also insisted that more added time should be given to educators in order to have them work together and enhance the learning experience in a collec- tive manner. AD is also proposing a sys- tematic educational programme that gives further knowledge to students on gender equality, in light of the co-education system which was recently introduced. Mallia also said AD would like to propose a study to investigate why male students are proving to be less successful academically when compared to their female counterparts. AD candidate Danica Formosa said that the Green Party wanted to see children split into smaller groups in classrooms, to have students provided with further individual attention and learn- ing. "We need to create further opportunities for those students who fail to finish their secondary schooling in a successful man- ner." AD also proposed that students should not be allowed to sit for any MATSEC examinations be- fore finishing their two years in post-secondary education, since this practice was leaving much to be desired from the general edu- cational experience and practice. Formosa said that AD is pro- posing a committee to discuss and come up with proposals to address the students' transport problem, saying that it was ab- surd that children were being taken to school at a very early time, pointing out that whilst breakfast clubs were sustainable, they were only being used to cov- er up the bad coordination in this particular sector. AD also encouraged a change in the way student representa- tive elections were being held at University, Junior College, and MCAST, where only a particular student group would be favoured rather than having a diverse mix of students elected in council to further promote different ideolo- gies. AD chairperson Arnold Cas- sola said that the educational process should also serve to ad- dress social justice in the same manner. "It is very worrying as to how students who are socially disadvantaged continue to face further difficulty to escape such situations. This is clearly shown through a series of educational istro Greens calls for debate on religious inclusivity Mario Mallia at the conference

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