The National Curriculum Framework, launched this afternoon following a wide consultation process, focuses on the early years as the foundation for life, while giving teachers space for creativity, said Education Minister Dolores Cristina.
Speaking at the Pembroke Primary School, where the document entitled: “A National Curriculum Framework for All 2012”, was launched, Mrs Cristina said “this is a labour of love”.
The document, which has started to be implemented, gives the vision for success in the 21st Century. It emphasises the balance between the personal potential of students, work opportunities later in life and their development as active citizens.
Literacy and digital literacy are being stressed while secondary school years will no longer be described as ‘Forms’ but will be Year 7 to 11. The thought behind this is to reduce the gap between primary and secondary schools to encourage more students to continue studying.
Another innovation is the recognition of all students’ skills including those which are informal.
The first curriculum framework was launched in 1988 and has since been revised a number of times to reflect changes.
Mrs Cristina pointed out the that an NCF implementation board is to be set and the vision outlined by the document will be linked with the SEC and Matsec systems, the national entities which hold O-Level and A-Level exams.
The target by 2025 is that 90% of students are to continue their education beyond compulsory schooling.
Among the committee members who gave their views regarding the document on a recorded dvd was the head of San Anton School, Joe Gauci, who was accused by the Malta union of Teachers of passing derogatory comments about teachers at the school. The school had denied that the email, published by the MUT, had come from its head.
Dr Gauci was one of the committee members who worked on the NCF.
Outlining the NCF’s objectives, Dr James Calleja, permanent secretary at the education ministry, said the framework is a point of reference but success depends on teachers. Parents are also protagonists in the process since the family environment is as important as the school environment in children’s learning and development.
Dr Calleja added the education setting should serve to give childhood back to children. Education should be about fun and satisfaction not creating tension for children. In the end, this should lead to a better working population and more students getting formal qualifications.