“2015 did not come without its fair share of challenges such as the not so straightforward and sometimes very demanding procedures to help visiting foreign students obtain their necessary visas and temporary residence permits. But facing these challenges helped assert FELTOM as a valid lobby group whose interest is solely that of seeing the ELT industry grow by providing quality services, and of establishing Malta as a major ELT destination.”
This was stated by Genevieve Abela, CEO of FELTOM during its annual reception for its member schools. During this event held at the Malta National Aquarium in Qawra, the FELTOM Award, an acknowledgement to an individual who through their personal efforts, contributes to the strengthening of the ELT sector, was presented.
In her brief speech, Genevieve Abela outlined the work done by FELTOM throughout 2015 as anfullyear for the organisation and its member schools.
“2015 was a very intensive and active year for FELTOM and its members. Our member schools registered more growth through longer stays by students. More students are recognising Malta not only as a place where to visit just for introductory English courses but as a country where to further advance their tuition through more intensive and specialized courses.We also launched our new FELTOM website to facilitate communication, an important marketing platform for our member schools and we also supported the setting up of ‘The FELTOM Library’. This CSR initiative underlines our commitment to keep investing in the teaching of English language as a tool that helps people achieve new opportunities,” said Genevieve Abela.
On behalf of FELTOM, Genevieve Abela then announced Hon Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment as the winner of the annual FELTOM Award.
As she presented the award, Genevieve Abela described Minister Bartolo as a person who has always believed in the local ELT industry and in its importance for Malta, has been a huge supporter of multilingualism in Malta, acknowledging its importance in many of his keynote speeches and had an active role in the implementation of legislation that led to positive impact on our industry.
“Coincidentally in fact, it turns out that 2016 is the 20th anniversary since the first Legal Notice regulating our industry was introduced in 1996. And in 2015, also under his auspices, a much needed revision of this Legal Notice took place,” said Genevieve Abela.
Thanking FELTOM for the recognition, Minister Bartolo said “although this is an honour for me, I am only doing my duty and supporting an industry which I know contributes to promoting Malta not only as any educational destination but as a country that has so much more to offer as an ideal full immersion destination. I thank FELTOM and its member schools for their important contribution to this sector and pledge to keep working closely to ensure that continuous professional development of this industry remains a priority,” said Minister Bartolo.
FELTOM will be hosting its annual AGM in February during which an extensive calendar of training events for 2016 will be launched. March will see the FELTOM ELT Malta Workshoptake place, which is already over-subscribed with local and foreign participants.