The Commissioner for Education urges the parties to resolve differences at MCAST

The Office of the Ombudsman, through the Commissioner for Education, expresses its grave concern regarding the situation currently obtaining at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) in connection with the assessment of students and final examinations in light of the current industrial dispute between the College and the MUT.

The current situation stems from directives, issued by the recognised union at the College, which include the withholding and processing of assessment marks, the refusal to invigilate at examinations and to participate in vivas.

This has led to students, including students in their final year of studies, being left entirely in the dark as to their progression and possible further studies. From information available, almost 8,000 are affected in one way or another.

The Office of the Ombudsman acknowledges the fundamental right of educators to engage in industrial action as a means to voice their legitimate grievances and to seek a fair resolution thereto. However, this should be done in a way to cause the least harm to third parties, in this case students, who also have a right to know, without undue or unnecessary delay, the result of their studies throughout the year. Both parties should refrain from using the students’ plight to put undue pressure. Furthermore, both parties should not display intransigence.

The Commissioner for Education calls upon both sides to the dispute to engage in open and constructive dialogue to resolve the current industrial dispute, bearing in mind that both educators and the College are there to provide a fundamental service to society – the education of youth.

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