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Alliance highlights education plans

The GSLP/Liberal Alliance yesterday revealed new plans for the new Gibraltar College as the party set out further developments in education.

The Alliance, if elected is committed to six more schools - St Martin’s, Governor’s Meadow and Bishop Fitzgerald where work is already under way, St Mary’s and the Hebrew School, and the new College.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, Alliance candidate Dr John Cortes said there would be equal opportunities for all children and an expanded curriculum.

This will include vocational options to cater for a wider range of subjects in school.

There will be greater emphasis on the digital technologies, including coding and computer science, reflecting the demands of industry, and on STEM subjects. Arabic and Mandarin will also be introduced as subject options.

Dyslexia support and assessment will be provided for all children and there will be additional support for children with autism and special needs in general, including children with high performance capabilities, and there will be a teacher for the deaf.

If elected, the GSLP/Liberals will complete the review of the Education Act and of how education is organised.

For students in higher education, student grants will be increased annually.

There will also be a scholarships ‘rainy day fund’ to guarantee grants in the future, and a rental guarantor support scheme. Free eye tests will be provided until the end of a student’s university career.

On further environmental pledges Dr Cortes announced that one of the new parks on Queensway will be a dog friendly park and include a specific dog park.

Dogs will be allowed over the whole of this park, with an area within it set aside with specific facilities for them.

This will be in addition to the new dog park at the Nuffield Pool/Little Bay area, an upgrade to the Alameda dog walking area and other smaller dog areas around Gibraltar.

He also committed, if elected, to review the dog urine law in relation to the amount of liquid to be used in advance of it coming into force on January 1, 2020.