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Education Minister attends consultation meeting on education in Gozo

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Education Minister attends consultation meeting on education in GozoLast Wednesday, a public consultation meeting on education in Gozo took place at the Boys' Secondary School in Victoria.

The public was invited to consult over the new proposed reforms to the Education Act. Among those who attended were the Minister for Education and Employment Evarist Bartolo and Mr. Victor Galea, Gozo College Principal.

There was a good turnout for the meeting and those present were able to give their views on the proposals for the new education law. The Minister explained that they want schools to develop children in all disciplines, not just through tests and in examinations: but have the skills to be creative, be able to solve problems, able to work and live with each other and be able to continue to learn.

He said that educators and parents must collaborate together for the welfare of the child. He thanked everyone that had attended for the session.

Minister Bartolo also spent time visiting three schools in Gozo: Nadur, Xewkija and Victoria.

He said that families in Xewkija have built up confidence in the school through its good governance and teachers. The Nadur school building needs a lot of work to be carried out, having been forgotten in the last 25 year, the Minister said. "In Victoria, we have the largest school in the smallest space and thus the Government will build a new school."

Bringing Education into the 21st century – a public consultation was launched in July by the Ministry for Education on a number of educational proposals with the aim of empowering schools, democratising the system and increasing the rights and obligations of parents.

From a substantive point of view, the new package of legislation is intended to modernise the legislation to cater for developments and to better address the challenges in the education sector in a simpler and less paternalistic way. Among the issues addressed are the following:

The role and function of the education central authorities and other entities and commissions established by law;

The rights and obligations of parents in the provision of education to their children;

Students' rights and increased student involvement;

The promotion of civic involvement, employability and active citizenship;

The better functioning and management of State Schools and Colleges;

The regulation of the teaching profession and other education providers in all sectors;

The better coordination of all actors and stakeholders involved in the educational sector, and the involvement of social partners;

The rationalisation of resources; and The reduction of bureaucracy and inefficiency.

It is being proposed that the University of Malta, MCAST, the Council for the Teaching Profession (which will become the Educators' Council) and the National Commission for Further and Higher Education be governed by a stand-alone Act.

It is also being proposed that the new Education Act deal solely with the main principles underpinning education in Malta and state schools. Moreover, the new Education Regulatory Act will deal with regulatory aspects, in particular ensuring that quality in education is safeguarded and also subjecting state schools to quality surveillance.

The full documentation can be accessed here. The consultation period is currently open and closes next Friday, the 7th of October.

Photograph by Gozo College

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