The Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) has recently publisahed its annual report flagging a number of complaints related to The Equal Opportunities Act (EOA) in which a number of schools are reported not to have conformed with accessibility criteria.
The Union Of Professional Educators – Voice Of The Workers shares its concern that a number of schools remain inaccessible in 2019. This situation has created discomfort both for the students and educators in the schools cited below.
The Union is most anxious to see an active role from the relevant authorities to resolve the issue of inaccessibility in these schools once and for all:
St Edward’s College
The School has a marked lack of accessibility, a state of affairs that the College was made aware of several years ago when CRPD carried out an on-site audit in 2009. In the intervening years, a few minor modifications have been implemented. In an ironic twist, one part of the playground that was accessible in 2009 has now been rendered inaccessible. CRPD has already issued a Judicial Protest to remedy the situation.
St Gorg Preca College, Middle School, Blata l- Bajda
Since the school building was in need of maintenance, a structural survey was carried out. The resulting works involved the reconstruction of a bridge and staircase to facilitate safe access. CRPD has asked when matters related to accessibility will be tackled as it had been informed that a lift would be installed.
Stella Maris College,Gzira
Currently, works are being undertaken to improve accessibility. However, one outstanding issue is the lack of an efficient and reliable electricity supply for the lift to function properly.
In keeping with its ethos, UPE will continue to monitor the situation and will issue directives in the aforementioned schools if Union members are in any way adversely affected by the ongoing lack of accessibility.