Snippets from AD’s electoral manifesto: (38) working conditions

working carrots

The following extract is taken verbatim from Chapter 12 of AD’s Electoral Manifest

The Government and the Social Partners should show more determination in their fight against precarious employment. This type of work is on the increase among different categories of workers with different skills, experience and qualifications, such as with the increase of definite contract work as well as with the increase of workers registered as self-employed but who would be selling their services to one contractor such as the Government or the owner of a business. The Government should ensure that its contracts are not based on precarious employment.

L-Estratt segwenti hu meħud kelma b’kelma mill-Kapitlu 12 tal-Manifest Elettorali ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

Il-Gvern u l-imsieħba soċjali għandhom juru aktar determinazzjoni fil-ġlieda kontra l-pjaga tax-xogħol prekarju. Dan it-tip ta’ xogħol qiegħed jiżdied fost kategoriji differenti ta’ ħaddiema b’ħiliet, esperjenzi u kwalifiċi differenti, ngħidu aħna biż-żieda ta’ xogħol b’kuntratt definit kif ukoll iż-żieda ta’ ħaddiema rreġistrati bħala self-employed li jkunu qed ibigħu x-xogħol tagħhom lil kuntrattur wieħed bħall-Gvern jew sid ta’ negozju. Il-Gvern ghandu jiżgura li l-kuntratti li joħroġu ma jkunux ibbażati fuq xogħol prekarju.

A loan for the Nationalist Party

PN. arma imkisra

It is normal for a commercial company to take up a loan from a commercial bank for the purposes of its  activities.

But is a commercial company owned by a political party “a normal commercial operation”?  In my opinion it is not.

Hence the declaration that business tycoon Nazzareno Vassallo has loaned the sum of €250,000 to a media company belonging to the PN is bad news. It is an additional exercise in the financing of a major political party in Malta by a major player in local business activity.

The terms and conditons of the loan have not been disclosed.

The very existence of this loan proves, if any proof was needed, of how close the Nationalist Party is to the major players in the construction industry.

The Prime Minister and Leader of the Nationalist Party has assured one and all that this did not give rise to any sort of obligation of the Nationalist Party towards Mr Vassallo and his companies. This loan will be paid he said, and very shortly.

I do not know whether and how the loan will be paid. What I know is that public confirmation of this loan has sealed the view of many that business and politics are too close for comfort.

It was known by all that Dr Lawrence Gonzi and his PN have done a great disservice to politics in Malta by promising legislation on regulating the financing of political parties and not keeping to his word. The approval of this loan explains clearly what the Leader of the PN really thinks on the regulation of the financing of political parties.

Alternattiva Demokratika in Parliament after the March 9 elections will be submitting proposals for legislation to ensure that the finances of political parties are transparent and regulated by law.

PN and the PL Members of Parliament, in the outgoing legislature, had for their consideration a Private Member’s Bill on regulating the financing of political parties. They ignored it.

Alternattiva Demokratika will improve that draft and present it for discussion in the new Parliament.

originally published in di-ve.com on Friday March 1, 2013

Snippets from AD’s electoral manifesto: (37) Education – The Curriculum

education 01

The following extract is taken verbatim from Chapter 11 of AD’s Electoral Manifest

AD is in agreement with the way the consultation process regarding the National Curriculum Framework was conducted. Whilst referring to its detailed reaction on the document itself issued last year, AD emphasises the following points as the lynchpins for the development of our educational system:

The need for the NCF and by implication the educational system as a whole to distance itself from the pervading utilitarian and economic undertones which limit to a large extent efforts towards a truly holistic education.

There needs to be a conscious effort to make the NCF much less prescriptive so that it leaves much needed space for innovation in education whilst ensuring quality.

AD emphasises the need for a cooperative education and a sense of community as the lynch pins of educational policy.

AD agrees with efforts to provide a more holistic view in curriculum planning

AD gives thumbs up to the introduction of technology education in all schools as an educational right for all students rather than have this knowledge component segregated within particular schools as was the case in the past.

AD agrees with the proposal concerning changes in science education. This should help to reduce fragmentation of knowledge as a result of early specialization currently in place. This should help provide a more holistic, wider and critical view of the world. AD also supports the bigger emphasis on physical education.

There needs to be a better articulation of creativity and the arts such that these crucial aspects in educational development are not considered any more as the Cinderella of our educational system.

No efforts should be spared to help teachers feel inspired and supported within the context of mixed ability classes.

Whilst the draft NCF addresses reform in the primary and the secondary, AD feels that these efforts will remain half baked if urgent reforms in the Secondary Education Certificate (SEC), Matriculation (MATSEC) and the post secondary sector in general remain untackled. A conherent educational reform demands no less. AD strongly feels that SEC should be taken up by the Education Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education so that consistency in vision and implementation become more possible.

AD concurs with the proposal of ethical education for students who chose not to follow Catholic religion lessons. AD feels that this component should feature as an integral part of the curriculum for all students whilst still providing the opportunity for religious education.

AD notes with satisfaction that after airing its reservations regarding the regimen originally proposed in the Secondary School Certificate and Profile, a committee was subsequently set up for the revision of this certificate. AD suggests that following this revision, the policy is revised after a number of years following its implementation.

L-Estratt segwenti hu meħud kelma b’kelma mill-Kapitlu 11 tal-Manifest Elettorali ta’ Alternattiva Demokratika

AD taqbel mal-mod kif ġie mniedi il-proċess wiesgħa ta’ konsultazzjoni fuq il-Qafas il-ġdid tal-Kurrikulu Nazzjonali. Filwaqt li tirreferi għar-reazzjonijiet fid-dettall li tat fuq is-suġġett is-sena l-oħra, tisħaq fuq dawn il-punti prinċipali bħala spunti ta’ żvilupp fis-sistema edukattiva:

Il-bżonn li d-dokument u allura d-direzzjoni tas-sistema edukattiva kollha tinfatam mix-xeħta utilitarja u ekonomika li tillimita bil-kbir l-iskop edukattiv wiesgħa u ħolistiku.

Isir sforz ikbar sabiex dak li joħroġ mid-dokument ma jkunx preskrittiv, imma jħalli spazju biżżejjed għall-innovazzjoni edukattiva, filwaqt li jiżgura prattika ta’ kwalità.

Tisħaq fuq il-bżonn ta’ edukazzjoni kooperattiva u s-sens ta’ komunità bħala qafas prinċipali tal-politika edukattiva.

Taqbel mat-tentattiv li jingħata sens ħolistiku ikbar fl-ippjanar tal-kurrikulu

Taqbel mal-introduzzjoni ta’ edukazzjoni teknoloġika fl-iskejjel kollha bħala dritt edukattiv ta’ kull student, iktar milli dan il-qasam tal-għerf jiġi ssegregat fi skejjel partikulari kif kien isir fl-imgħoddi.

Taqbel mar-riforma proposta fit-tagħlim tax-xjenza li għandu jnaqqas mill-frammentazzjoni tal-għerf frott speċjalizzazzjoni bikrija. Dan għandu jgħin biex tingħata stampa iktar sħiħa, wiesgħa u kritika tad-dinja. Taqbel ukoll mal-enfasi ikbar fuq l-edukazzjoni fiżika.

Fl-istess waqt, issostni l-bżonn ta’ artikolazzjoni ta’ politika fuq il-kreattività u l-arti biex dawn l-oqsma kruċjali fl-iżvilupp edukattiv ma jibqgħux kunsiderazzjonijiet tas-sekonda klassi.

Jibqa’ jsir kull sforz biex l-għalliema jħossu li huma mnebbħa u mgħejuna fl-isfond ta’ klassijiet ta’ abbiltajiet imħallta.

Tħoss li filwaqt li l-Qafas tal-Kurrikulu jindirizza riforma wiesgħa fil-qasam primarju u sekondarju, dan ma jistax isir b’mod adekwat jekk paripassu ma jiġux indirizzati riformi urġenti li għandhom bżonn isiru kemm fis-sistema tas-SEC, MATSEC, u s-sistema post-sekondarja kollha kemm hi. Hemm bżonn riforma edukattiva li tkun koerenti f’kull livell. Għaldaqstant, AD tħoss li t-tmexxija tas-SEC għandha taqa’ taħt il-ġuriżdizzjoni tad-Direttorat tal-Kwalità u Standards fl-Edukazzjoni biex ikun hemm konsistenza fil-viżjoni u fl-implimentazzjoni.

Taqbel mal-proposta fil-kurrikulu l-ġdid li jipproponi t-tagħlim tal-etika għal studenti li jagħżlu li ma jsegwux lezzjonijiet fir-reliġjon Kattolika. AD tħoss li dan il-komponent ta’ etika għandu jkun parti integrali mill-kurrikulu ta’ kull student filwaqt li l-istudenti kollha jingħataw l-opportunità jsegwu lezzjonijiet f’reliġjonijiet rikonoxxuti mill-istat.

Huwa bi pjaċir li wara t-tħassib muri mill-AD fuq ir-reġimentazzjoni fis-Secondary School Certificate and Profile kif propost oriġinarjament, twaqqaf kumitat li rreveda din l-għodda. AD tipproponi li anke wara din ir-reviżjoni, issir evalwazzjoni wara numru ta’ snin meta din l-għodda tkun għaddiet mill-għarbiel tal-prattika.