Ed­u­ca­tional re­form will see vo­ca­tional and ap­plied sub­jects of­fered for O-level

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Ju­lian Bon­nici Pho­to­graph: Jonathan Borg

The first grad­u­ates of the re­form would be in the year 2021.

Sec­ondary school stu­dents will be able to choose be­tween aca­demic, vo­ca­tional or ap­plied sub­jects for their o-lev­els, the Min­istry for Ed­u­ca­tion an­nounced at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day at Lufthansa Tech­nik.

The ma­jor re­form in the sec­ondary school sys­tem will be avail­able from the scholas­tic year be­gin­ning in 2019. It will see the ed­u­ca­tional sec­tor move from a ‘one size fits all’ sys­tem to a more in­clu­sive and equal pro­gram which can specif­i­cally cater to chil­dren’s in­di­vid­ual tal­ents.

The sub­jects be­ing in­tro­duced in­clude auto me­chan­ics, en­gi­neer­ing, beauty ther­apy and hos­pi­tal­ity to name a few; and will al­low stu­dents to achieve a Mal­tese Qual­i­fi­ca­tion Frame­work Level 3 (equiv­a­lent to an O-level).

Stu­dents will fol­low the stan­dard aca­demic syl­labus un­til forms two were they se­lect their elec­tive sub­jects for their o-level ex­am­i­na­tions. Here, stu­dents will be able to choose ei­ther an in­di­vid­ual path­way or even se­lect a mix be­tween the three. For ex­am­ple, a stu­dent will be able pur­sue en­gi­neer­ing, chem­istry and hos­pi­tal­ity as Olevel sub­jects.

Sim­i­lar sys­tems can be found in Ger­many, Fin­land, and Aus­tria; how­ever the Mal­tese pro­gram will be the first to of­fer vo­ca­tional, ap­plied, and aca­demic ed­u­ca­tional path­ways to the its stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to Di­rec­tor Gen­eral for the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion Frank Fabri.

Mr Fabri went on to say that sys­tem would cater to both stu­dents and teach­ers with dif­fer­ent learning styles; and would al­low stu­dents to have a seam­less tran­si­tion to post­sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tional es­tab­lish­ments such as MCAST.

Mr Fabri also said that the sys­tem would be ex­tended to both pri­vate and church-run schools.

In the three years un­til the sys­tem is im­ple­mented, The Univer­sity of Malta, MCAST, ITS and the Min­istry will work to­gether to al­ter the de­gree in ed­u­ca­tion in or­der to pro­duce teach­ers who will able to teach in all three path­ways.

The first grad­u­ates of the re­form would be in the year 2021, Mr Fabri said; this will be fol­lowed by a two year re­view on the new sys­tem.

Mr Fabri also spoke of the in­tro­duc­tion of a new Na­tional Ca­reer Ser­vice, which will pro­vide form two stu­dents with the es­sen­tial tools and in­for­ma­tion to un­der­stand and make the best choice for them­selves.

Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Evarist Bar­tolo de­fined the cur­rent sys­tem as ‘poor, un­fair and un­just’ since there are too many chil­dren in the cur­rent sys­tem who are de-mo­ti­vated and dis­cour­aged from pur­su­ing an ed­u­ca­tional path since the aca­demic sys­tem has deemed them not ca­pa­ble enough.

‘Equal­ity and qual­ity’ are the defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of the re­form, ac­cord­ing to Mr Bar­tolo, and will pro­vide ‘thou­sands of chil­dren with the ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence to help them grow into ca­pa­ble and pro­duc­tive ci­ti­zens in the very com­plex so­ci­ety we live in today’

He went on to say that the re­form was wanted by teach­ers and stu­dents alike. This was con­firmed by Mau­reen Amoroso, a teacher and a speaker at the event, who spoke of the ben­e­fits the re­form would have on ev­ery stu­dent.

Prof. Pasi Sahlberg for the Univer­sity of Helsinki, who is a leader in the ed­u­ca­tional field, con­grat­u­lated the min­istry on in­tro­duc­ing a plan which will evolve the Mal­tese ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem.

He also said that the stan­dard­i­s­a­tion ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem, which is cur­rently used in the UK, USA, Aus­tralia and Malta have failed; and that the evolved state sec­ondary stu­dents sys­tem has pro­duce flex­i­ble path­ways for stu­dents to en­gage in ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams be­yond the com­pul­sory level.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.