Ministry Denies School Libraries Censorship Claims


The Ministry of Education said this evening that a group has been appointed to advise the minister on the running of school libraries and the books which may be kept there.

The statement was issued after criticism that a number of classical and local works had been taken off school shelves.

The ministry said the group, led by writer Trevor Zahra, will advise the minister on a book which was recently removed from the libraries of secondary schools, and also make recommendations on the running of the libraries and what books they should have.

(Vampir u Rakkonti Oħra, a collection of 12 short stories written by Mario Azzopardi was recently banned from school libraries.)

The group also includes Children Commissioner Helen D’Amato and Sandra Cortis, Service Manager on Psycho Social Services, responsible for guidance services in schools.

It is expected to submit its report by the end of the month.

“What has been happening in the libraries of primary and secondary schools is not censorship, but classification according to the book subjects and the age of the students,” the ministry said.

Earlier today, the Labour Party demanded an explanation over how a number of classics had been removed from the bookshelves of secondary schools.

At a time when the authorities were supposed to be encouraging young people to read, thus building a society based on free thought and intellect, the government was censoring books which were considered as being part of the European heritage, including works by Voltaire and DH Lawrence, spokesman Owen Bonnici said. Also taken off the shelves were publications which were important in the development of Maltese literature, including publications by Alfred Sant, Fr Wistin Born and Lino Spiteri.

He called for an immediate review of such mistaken decisions.

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3 comments on “Ministry Denies School Libraries Censorship Claims
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