At a press conference the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) has announced that phase 1 of the implementation of the new e-learning platform for State Primary and Secondary Schools has been concluded, with 28 schools starting to use it as from April and another 29 schools in May. The system, purchased from Fronter at a cost of €8.7 million, mostly from EU funds, will be rolled-out completely by next year.
The press conference was addressed by executives from MITA, who spoke about the local technical implementation of the e-learning system called iLearn, and Fronter, who explained how it works and its benefits.
Maltese Teachers and officials from education were conspicuous by their absence at an event organised by MITA.
Indeed, while MITA has dished out timeframes for the implementation of iLearn, the Malta Union of Teachers has not yet pronounced itself on the new system which will bring changes to the working conditions of more than 5,000 teachers and which is a major initiative for Maltese education.
MITA was responsible for the tendering process and implementation of the new e-learning platform, which started in 2010, but sources told Maltastar.com that it was only a few weeks ago that discussions with MUT officials have started. Teachers were never officially consulted.
While MITA talks in a reassuring tone, MUT’s stance on this issue will have a bearing on the implementation of the system, especially if the union expresses some reservations on such aspects as the role of parents and what is expected of teachers outside school hours.
In the meantime the training of teachers in the use of iLearn, still without the blessing of MUT but without the union hindering it in any way, has started and is being provided by the eLearning Centre, which is also pro-actively assisting teachers in their day-to-day use of the new e-learning system. Once again, this was barely mentioned at MITA’s press conference.