The Education Ministry will be investigating claims that a teacher at the Żabbar primary school made a six-year-old boy kneel down and be ridiculed by other students.

The claims were first brought to light yesterday by Nationalist MEP candidate Helga Ellul who issued a statement in which she said she was alerted to the incidents by parents whose children attended the school.

“They contacted me after having heard rumours that a child was made to kneel down in a yard, after which some other students were instructed to look at the student and laugh at him. Allegedly the whole scene was directed by one of the teachers as a form of punishment to the student involved.”

She said she probed the matter further by contacting other parents who corroborated the version of events. The PN MEP wrote a letter to Education Minister Evarist Bartolo before issuing the statement to the media, calling on him to carry out a proper investigation.

The ministry should also make sure that the student involved got all the necessary help for any psychological implications he may have suffered due to the incident, she said in the statement.

In reaction to her statement, a ministry spokesman said the incident will be investigated.

Malta Union of Teachers president Kevin Bonello said he had not been aware of the case before hearing it in the media. He thought it was “strange” to hear such incidents took place, especially at a school where the union had a representative. However, he said, the authorities did well to investigate such serious allegations.

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