Archive photo shows children on their way to the International School Michel Lucius primary in 2017
Photo: LaLa La Photo/archive
Parents of learners at the International School Michel Lucius (ISML) are appealing for a further relaxation of the language recruitment criteria to help fill staff gaps caused by the pandemic.
In a letter to education minister Claude Meisch (DP) from the school parents’ association, parents pointed out that within their ranks were people with educational or youth work backgrounds. “We all have different languages but rare are those who have the languages required to work in the school,” the letter read, referring to the education ministry’s criteria that to teach English in an international school, people must speak one of the country’s three national languages.
“We want the language restriction to be lifted at the International School Michel Lucius to respond to the needs of the school.”
Sickness, vulnerable staff shielding and social distancing in education have placed a strain on both conventional and international public schools. “I don’t know how many [they are missing] but I know they are reaching their limit,” chair of the ISML Marco Fardellini told Delano about the impact on teaching and monitoring staff. “There might be some people who have skills and can give support for 3-4 months. It would be a temporary replacement to get through this period.”
Fardellini stressed that the goal of the parents was not to just complain but to find solutions together with the schools to the challenges raised by the pandemic.
In their letter, the ISML parents acknowledged that “covid-19 has brought a crushing workload for teachers, who cannot split themselves in two and risk burning out.”
International School Michel Lucius has responded dynamically to the challenge and was the first school to reintroduce remote learning after it was relaxed at the end of the summer. In early November, entire classes of students in the final four years of secondary school were invited to alternate a week of learning from home with a week in school. The measure aimed to reduce the number of students on site and using public transport to lower vectors for spreading the virus.
In an interview last week, Meisch told Delano that recruitment in the international streams was not a problem and that it was important staff spoke one national language so they can be flexible in teaching other classes. However, in October, the education minister said that he planned to submit a law that would enable the recruitment of more teachers by simplifying the extensive teacher training requirement.
Delano contacted management at the ISML for comment. They had not responded at the time of writing.