The Education Ombudsman has dismissed a complaint filed by MCAST lecturer Peter Gatt over the composition of its board of studies, the college said in a statement.

The Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology said the complaint, filed by Gatt last year, had been dismissed by commissioner Vincent De Gaetano.

MCAST said the commissioner stated he was not in agreement with the complaint made by Gatt about the board not being composed in accordance with the law. It said the commissioner had dismissed the complaint in his evaluation report.

“MCAST has continued to strengthen its governance and management structure for the benefit of staff and students. The role of the board of studies is crucial in ensuring quality and excellence in the education and training programmes offered by the College’s six institutes,” it said in its statement.

MCAST and Gatt, a geologist and senior lecturer, have been at loggerheads for several months.

Earlier this year, Gatt obtained an injunction to stop a “vindictive” termination of his posting at the college. He told the court that this followed a series of efforts to stop him from teaching and an order banning him from communicating with his students.

This matter was also reported to the Education Ombudsman who, in a report drawn up in May, upheld the complaint. He ruled that MCAST’s decision not to assign any teaching duties and the prevention from contacting students for such a long period of time, while remaining on MCAST’s books, “was an act which was oppressive and tantamount to degrading treatment”.

Presiding over the First Hall of the Civil Court, Mr Justice Francesco Depasquale in July barred MCAST from transferring Gatt to a secondary school, effectively demoting him to a teacher.

The court heard how Gatt works for the Education Ministry but is the only geologist at the college and has been lecturing at MCAST since 2014. He lectures in engineering geology, limestone studies and building materials.

 

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