Students from the St Clare College Pembroke Secondary School visited the Office of the Ombudsman

A group of students from St Clare College Pembroke Secondary School and their teachers visited the Office of the Ombudsman to attend a talk in the context of a targeted initiative to deepen students’ understanding of the Ombudsman’s role and the importance of good governance.

The visit included a detailed presentation by the Commissioner for Education, Chief Justice Emeritus Vincent De Gaetano, who explored the Ombudsman’s role and functions and how this role and these functions promote the right to good administration within the general framework of the rule of law.

Students were informed about their rights and duties, the importance of a transparent and accountable public sector, and the need to uphold democratic values and insist on efficient governance.

At the end of the session, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Judge Emeritus Joseph Zammit McKeon, highlighted the importance of such initiatives and emphasised that the safeguarding and protection of rights is of paramount importance in a healthy democracy, underscoring that informed and aware persons are fundamental to maintaining the balance of power and ensuring accountability in public institutions.

The students and their teachers were actively engaged throughout the session. They took the opportunity to ask questions and showed an interest in learning more about their civic responsibilities.

In a short message sent to the teachers after the presentation was over and the students had left, the Commissioner for Education said: “Both the Ombudsman and I, and other officers in attendance, were impressed by the high standard of knowledge of general and public affairs shown by the students and by the exceptionally good and confident way that they expressed themselves, and their positive interaction with the speakers. This is surely a feather not only in their cap but also in that of their teachers and of the school as a whole.”

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