Malta is discussing with the main European stakeholders the established a framework for the preparation of the eventual re-opening of educational and training institutions. The discussion is being held with stakeholders at all levels, from childcare to tertiary level and including the different unions and associations.
Speaking during an exchange of views on the eventual re-opening of education and training institutions with fellow European Union Education Ministers, Minister for Education Owen Bonnici explained that through the framework and by means of the strong cooperation with the Health Authorities, the Maltese government is confident that as a country the best decisions for the benefit of our students will be taken in a timely matter.
The framework, which follows the model proposed by the United Nations, considers five main aspects:
- Health and safety
- Development and training
- Quality education and its universal access
- Necessary financing
During the meeting, Minister Bonnici explained that Malta was proactive from the start of these extraordinary circumstances brought about by COVID-19 and a number of other initiatives were taken, including the setting up of a working group composed of major stakeholders that have been managing online education efforts and the impact on the curriculum for this scholastic year and the next.
Bonnici said that a ministerial board was also set up to cater for the distribution of internet access, working machines and lunches to vulnerable children. A helpline was also set up in order to assist with issues pertaining to the education sector including psycho-social support.
Minister Bonnici explained how the government has already announced that the Secondary Education Certificate (O-level) examinations will not be held, and a predictive assessment for the students will be carried out by the Matriculation and Secondary Education Certificate Examinations Board (MATSEC) instead.
A certificate will still be issued to those students who pass, so that they may still be able to attend post-secondary schools. Every SEC student will nonetheless retain the right to sit for SEC exams in the coming September.
Intermediate and A-Levels will be postponed to September, with resits available in December, so as to allow students to progress to their tertiary education, without penalising those students who sit for resits.
Entry requirements both to the Junior College (Sixth Form) and the University of Malta have been adjusted and students will be sitting for their Secondary Education Certificate (SEC) and Matriculation examinations in September 2020.
The Minister also made reference to the think tank about post-COVID-19 education and beyond which was set up.
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