The Maltese Association of Parents of State School Students (MAPSSS) refers to the issue raised recently in the printed and social media in Malta regarding the introduction of LGBTI books in schools.
1. MAPSSS believes that an education system should equip young people and children to the realities of this day and age, using age appropriate resources. The Maltese society is even more heterogeneous and diversity is one of the principles of the National Curriculum Framework. MAPSSS believes in inclusion and respect, and in this sense, lessons on these values, which already form part of PSCD curriculum, are the backbone of the communication of values to our children, whether based on physical form, religion, origin and even gender.
2. MAPSSS stresses on the importance of consistent communication between parents and the authorities. We believe that this issue would not have grown to its current proportions had due communication with parents been carried out. The lack of communication led to speculation, hearsay and distrust which obviously undermined the educational dimension of the exercise.
3. Whilst it is the “State’s right to a establish a National Curriculum Framework of studies for all schools and secure compliance with it”, “it is the right of every parent/legal guardian of a minor to give his/her decision with regards to any matter concerning the education which the minor is to receive” (Education Act, Articles 6,7). It is therefore imperative that any eventual changes in the Sexuality Education Curriculum are implemented only after an open discussion with parents, ideally at the school level.
MAPSSS supports a proactive communication process that will enable dialogue and mutual understanding in the best interests of students. This will avoid fait accompli and contrasting situations and will contribute to foster essential trust and co-responsibility between parents and the authorities in the holistic education of our children.