Multi-sensory rooms in schools are not being used because the schools do not enough staff for them, according to Education Shadow Minister Justin Schembri.

Schembri made the claim while speaking in parliament on Tuesday morning.

Multi-sensory learning rooms are rooms specifically tailored to support children who are on the autism spectrum. Several schools have set up multi-sensory learning rooms in recent years.

Arguing that “our approach to inclusivity in education is not working”, Schembri said that schools lack the resources to implement the measures in the recently-revised policy document on inclusive education.  

Schembri said that Malta “has an inclusion policy on paper” which is not being implemented because of a lack of resources.

“The government is not owning up to its teacher shortage. Teachers are resigning and their resignation is not being accepted and other teachers on long sick leave are not adequately replaced,” he said.

According to Schembri, these shortages are leading to a situation where certain children are being denied the opportunity of receiving a holistic education.

He also criticised the lack of infrastructural investment in schools, saying that some still have apertures dating back to the 1960s and 1970s, making learning especially difficult during periods of bad weather.

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