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USA UK and Malta News
02/02/2012 - 16:53

Malta news: churche and school

Malta news: churche and school - Church schools under more scrutiny but issues remain - Overseas Development Aid budget: Commissioner insists law should be applied equally - What ACTA actually includes.

Malta news: churche and school
Church schools under more scrutiny but issues remain
The Education Directorate will be asking Church schools for information about any non-voluntary expenses parents are expected to bear, but questions remain about the transparency of requests for donations. “As from this scholastic year, Church schools are being asked to indicate all non-voluntary costs ex­pected from parents related to their children’s education, including stationery costs and uniform items bought exclusively from the school,” the Education Ministry said. This measure, however, will not address transparency questions that have recently been raised with respect to voluntary donations, especially since parents in some Church schools are being asked for higher amounts. According to the 1991 state-Church agreement, the government subsi­dises 10 per cent over and above staff costs to cover other expenses and last year pledged €43.2 million in subsidies. The agreement allows Church schools to request donations from parents to help them cover administrative and maintenance costs. Church schools are not obliged to inform the directorate about these voluntary donations while the Church does not keep a record, since schools’ administration is autonomous. “Given the independent and autonomous nature of these schools, each school makes its request for donations according to its own educational plans in line with its own... internal procedures,” a ministry spokes­man said. “Such requests should be, and be seen to be, voluntary. “ (timesofmalta.com) A school that is expensive is supposed to deliver a better education for our children, we need to wait that the notes of our children get is not it?

Overseas Development Aid budget: Commissioner insists law should be applied equally
The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations said yesterday that he was not notified that certain organisations were given written consent from the Justice, Public Consultation and the Family Ministry to receive financial assistance from the Overseas Development Aid budget. That said, Kenneth Wain told The Malta Independent that it is still problematic that such organisations – which are not enrolled with his office, in breach of Article 4 of the Voluntary Organisations Act – are not properly accountable. The law should be applied equally, he insisted. The ministry said recently that €363,047 would be distributed to 28 Church organisations and Maltese individuals undertaking humanitarian projects in Third World countries in Africa, Asia and South America. Questions sent to the Archbishop’s Curia with respect to the importance of the Church’s voluntary organisations being financially accountable and transparent, particularly when making use of public funds, remained unanswered. A spokesman for the Curia said: “As it has been previously stated, discussions about this matter are on-going between Church authorities and the state. We do not consider it to be prudent to comment at this stage.” The discussions, which have been ongoing since 2009, relate to amendments to regulations of organisations that fall under Ecclesiastical authorities.(independent.com.mt) I think it is essential that the funds are used by Maltese overseas humanitarian project is managed with greater transparency to better represent Malta abroad.

What ACTA actually includes
Arguments in favour and against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement which Malta signed last week have often been conflicting, making the actual treaty’s provisions unclear. John Cordina takes a look at what the treaty actually contains A number of misconceptions appear to have helped fuel criticism of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement which Malta signed last Thursday, although questions have also been raised on what the agreement actually is. In a statement defending Malta’s decision to sign the treaty, along with 21 other EU members, the Finance Ministry pointed out as much, picking apart a number of claims such as that travellers’ laptops would be scrutinised for copyrighted content and that internet traffic would be monitored. The agreement is far-reaching in scope, but most critics have focused on its provisions to combat online copyright infringement and its defenders have followed suit.(independent.com.mt) Je pense que ce n'est pas les lois qui défendent le copyright qui doivent êtres revues, mais ses conditions d'attribution.

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