From my article in The Sunday Times today:
“Where I live, I have noticed children working on farms helping their parents during school hours like this was 1920. I am aware of children living in families that may afford a computer but it’s mostly used by parents for Facebook scrolling. There is no doubt that there are many children out there living in families where education has no value or where a computer is a luxury.
“It is for those situations that we have laws against absenteeism, and it is a criminal offence for parents who do not ensure their children are at school at 8am each school day morning. It is for those situations that schools give books out for free. Because the country cannot rely on parents’ understanding of the value of education or the need of a connected computer. It must use its authority to ensure all children get the education they are entitled to.
“Instead Owen Bonnici has now not merely absolved parents from their obligation to ensure their children are educated. He has absolved himself from his obligation to enforce that obligation. He’s abandoning an entire generation of children to their fate.”