The Malta Union of Teachers has given details of arrangements reached with the government about the closure of schools, after it had a meeting with Prime Minister Robert Abela. 

The closure of schools and the university for a week from Friday was announced by Abela in the morning as part of measures to stop the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus. The decision was taken as a precaution despite there being no local spread of the virus, after schools reported that attendance was plunging.  

The MUT in a circular issued on its website said it had been agreed with the government that all educators working in schools together with student services grades and technician grades shall not report to school during the closure period.

"The closure period will not be considered as holidays and therefore there is no need for compensation in other periods in the future."

All staff affected by the closure of the schools will get their full pay and allowances for the time period of the closure.  

A task force is being set up and shall start discussions on Friday on curricular implications following the closure of schools. 

Fines in relation to student absenteeism between February 25 and March 12, as well as childcare penalties and deduction of student stipends for absenteeism shall be suspended.

All educators in state and church schools who are in quarantine shall be paid in full for their quarantine periods.

During the closure period, the education authorities will take the opportunity for sanitization, urgent maintenance and cleaning necessities in schools, the MUT said. 

The MUT said its officials had urged the government to be put in place measures to assist employees who are parents and need to care of their sons/daughters during the schools closure period. 

The union explained that the decision to close schools is a preventive measure and to be effective, people should avoid congregating and should stay home as much as possible.

It recommended that educators stop all activity involving groups of people.

The MUT is also postponing all meetings with groups of members. 

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