Around 80 peripatetic teachers who were transferred to primary schools at the beginning of the scholastic year have been ordered by their trade unions to return to their original roles.  

Malta Union of Teachers president Marco Bonnici told Times of Malta that some 80 teachers are following the directive, which was issued on Froday.

"The schools now have set up a teacher roster amongst all support teachers to make sure no classroom or students are left without a teacher," he said.

The union will be meeting officials of the Ministry of Education on Tuesday for further talks.

The directive was announced by both the MUT and the Union of Professional Educators (UPE) after a court rejected a request for an injunction made by the government to block industrial action by teachers' unions. 

The executive head of the UPE, Graham Sansone told Times of Malta some 500 children could be left without a teacher. 

Days before the start of the scholastic year, the authorities ordered peripatetic and support teachers, who usually focus on subjects such as art or PE, to report to ordinary classes to make up for a shortage of teachers. 

The Malta Union of Teachers and the UPE complained that the transfers reflected a lack of planning and did not allow the teachers to prepare for the scholastic year.   

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