The current political crisis has presented Malta with the opportunity to launch a national education and critical thinking campaign, a discussion at the University of Malta heard on Thursday.

“We have failed the nation. We have failed to educate people to think critically and we cannot let the current events slip by without starting a national education campaign about democracy and politicians’ obligations,” educator Ina Cutajar told an open dialogue organised by the Faculty for Social Wellbeing.

According to the dean of the faculty Andrew Azzopardi, Malta is at a delicate juncture following the fallout from the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder probe.

These were not normal times, and that is why people from all walks of life - community leaders, academics, activists, social operators and politicians had come together for the open dialogue, Prof. Azzopardi said.

He challenged those present to discuss solutions that would “untangle the mess that we have brought ourselves in”.

His comment did not go down well with Josef Vella, the CEO of UĦM Voice of the Workers, who insisted that it was the government that had brought the country to its knees.

The short-term solution was the immediate resignation of outgoing Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, he said. 

When challenged by lecturer Francois Mifsud on his stand about Dr Muscat’s resignation, GWU secretary general Josef Bugeja said he did not believe in the prime minister's immediate resignation as it was the whole system that was corrupt.

Earlier, Dr Mifsud said that all taxpayers had Ms Caruana Galizia’s blood on their hands because we all helped pay for the phantom job that was handed to middleman Melvin Theuma as a thank you token for the journalist’s murder.

Fellow lecturer Marie Briguglio compared the current crisis to an attempt of getting rid of a leech – there was a whole lot of things to be done following the immediate resignation of the prime minister for corruption not to fester. 

Mafia is the place where everybody supports the padrino

She also called for a national education campaign that focused on critical thinking and ethics. 

Elena Tanti Burlo added that Malta’s educational system had thrown “most of our children down the drains”.

Rather than streaming children and assigning them to behaviour specialists, students should be taught to work together and respect each other, she said.

What they said:

Unions, push for a general strike. We need the country to rise up – lecturer Arnold Cassola

I am not angry – I am livid. This was the first time I considered moving abroad, as I have no faith that the political situation in this country will give me a future - KSU president William Farrugia

I believe that politicians, myself included, have let people down. You’re mistaken if you think that the story is going to end now - this is the tip of the iceberg – PN MP Claudette Buttigieg

Unanimous approval is not a sign of democracy, but a sign that something is very wrong with our system. Mafia is the place where everybody supports the padrinoKenneth Wain

If politicians are found guilty, how are we going to punish them? Are they going to go to prison? If they betray the country, that is where they should end up – Vicki Ann Cremona

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