Prepared by Profs. Borg – commissioned by MEDE
A study commissioned by the Ministry of Education entitled “Challenges that Educators Face” was recently conducted. The aim of this study was to identify the challenges faced by Maltese educators. The study was conducted by Professor Mark. G. Borg is a teacher and holds a PhD and therefore specializes in Educational Psychology. It is worth mentioning that more than two thousand educators working in government schools and from all educational backgrounds participated in this study. And they ranged from administration (SLT) to Kindergarten Educators. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on the common points that emerged from the study. The full report can be read in detail.
What is the result of this study on the challenges faced by educators and what do they have in common?
- Paperwork – We can say that this is a big challenge for educators as they all agreed that this is a big burden for them, and it stops them from doing their work. They emphasize that excessive paperwork distracts them from other priorities. It could be that in order to cope with this, some educators continue their work in their free time.
- Discipline and behaviour – Most educators have written that student behaviour is one of the biggest challenges today.
- Ongoing Reforms – Another major challenge is the ongoing reforms in this area. Many educators have affirmed that they cannot cope with these reforms and will not be able to do their best.
- Lack of consultation – A common challenge across all sectors is the lack of consultation. In the study, educators wrote that unfortunately they are not consulted when changes or reforms are made, so they do not feel included.
What solutions have the educators offered?
- Regarding paperwork, educators said there should be centralization to determine what paperwork is necessary, duplicative, or a priority. In terms of administrative matters, they stressed that there should be more administrative staff.
- In terms of discipline and behaviour, there were several solutions including: More professional support for both children and educators. Smaller classes where more control and disciplinary action can be taken.
- In relation to the ongoing reforms, educators agreed that they should be involved and consulted. They also called for training on the reforms so that they could do their jobs better. They also called for a slowdown in the pace of reform in the sector.
- Above all, the educators stressed that they need more respect and appreciation for their profession.
This study commissioned by the Ministry of Education is an important step towards building a sustainable, participatory, and contemporary education sector. This study will help to further strengthen the educators who are the pillar of the education system and thus continue to put the students at the centre. It is worth mentioning that all the information in this article has been taken from the study mentioned here: Challenges the Educators Face’. Those who wish to read more can do so in the report on the same study.