Over 56,000 students and 10,000 educators back to work tomorrow
Over 56,000 pupils and 10,000 educators will be returning to school when the new scholastic year starts tomorrow, the government said yesterday.
A total of 31,873 students commence their scholastic year in primary and secondary state schools together with 3,713 teachers and 2,143 learning support assistants.
A number of major infrastructural projects in schools were undertaken for this scholastic year. These include: • A new €8 million school in Swatar (limits of Dingli) which will cater for 500 students. This project includes science laboratories, ICT rooms, a large multipurpose sports ground and an underground car park for 80 vehicles.
• A new €8 million middle school in Kirkop will also cater for 500 students and includes a history room overlooking archaeological finds and two outdoor sports grounds.
• A completely refurbished Żebbuġ Primary School. This school, previously a secondary level one, was closed down a number of years ago and over the past months was completely refurbished to house a new childcare centre (to open in December) and new classrooms. The old sewage system was replaced and new fittings installed. This will also cater for 500 students. The total investment for this project was €1 million.
• A €2.14 million project at the Dun Manwel Attard Young Adult Resource Centre in Wardija. The project involved the construction of an additional floor on the existing one as well as the construction of an entire new lecture block. This project meant that the school can now take double the number of students. The resource centre is for young people aged 16 to 22 who have intellectual disabilities such as autism. The new areas consist of new classrooms, computer labs, Home Economics labs, science labs, a design and technology hub, drama rooms and a canteen.
• A €1.4 million project at Sir M.A. Refalo Sixth Form in Victoria, Gozo. The project covered the construction of a lecture block, adjacent to the present school, consisting of seven lecture rooms, two Biology labs, two Physics labs, one Chemistry lab, 4 ICT labs and a hall.
• A completely refurbished Xewkija Primary School. The project consisted of an extensive refurbishment of the whole school that included all classrooms, administration offices, toilet facilities and the hall. New classrooms for extra-curricular and supporting lectures were created. The investment for this project was €520,000.
The Education Ministry said another important milestone for this scholastic year is the next phase of the One Tablet per Child project for Year 4 students. Following extensive training for educators, the tablet is now in all Year 4 classrooms and teachers and learning support assistants will be using it in a live educational context. In December, the following phase of the project will start with the roll-out of the tablet device to Year 4 students.
“Over the coming scholastic year, the plans for the implementation of the Learning Outcomes Framework in all schools will be finalized and resources will be provided in order to provide more personalized learning to all students. Plans are being drawn up for the introduction of a Foreign Language Awareness Programme together with a Science programme in the 3 – 16 after school activities organized by the Foundation for Educational Services.
The National Literacy Agency will continue with its popular programmes ‘Aqra Miegħi’/Read with Me, Reading Ambassadors, distribution of reading books on a large scale and other initiatives which will expand and reach out to more students.
Vocational Education will continue to be given parity of esteem as provided for in general education. In order to encourage them to further their learning, students will be provided with learning programmes such as the Prince’s Trust XL programme and the Core Curriculum Programme. Furthermore, the Gem 16+ Centre and the Alternative Learning Programme School, and the Youth Inc will continue to provide opportunities to students to re-engage with learning to continue on their educational journey.”
The Ministry will also be launching a number of customer care services for this scholastic year. Parents, students and the public can get in touch through the traditional channels such as email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and free phone number 1571 (Monday to Friday from 6am to 6pm) as well as Facebook (fb.com/edukazzjoni) and WhatsApp messaging (9991 4356).