The Malta Independent 9 August 2020, Sunday

Education Ministry launches over 450 adult courses, induction age lowered to 15-years-old

Karl Azzopardi Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 15:22 Last update: about 25 days ago

Minister for Education and Employment Owen Bonnici on Wednesday officially launched the LifeLong Learning Prospectus of the courses that will be offered during the 2020/2021 academic year which will consist of over 450 courses available to anyone who is 15-years-old or older.

During 2020/2021, the Lifelong Learning Unit within the Directorate for Research, Lifelong Learning and Employability, will be offering more than 450 courses in 77 different subjects, including vocational subjects.

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The Courses offered will include:

 Essential Skills, which are introductory courses that help improve basic skills in reading, writing, maths and computer skills.

 Language Learning in 11 different languages, offered at MQF level 1 and 2, SEC and A Level.

 Improving Education and Career Prospects. These courses are intended to boost career prospects, and include academic as well as vocational learning.

 Healthy Living courses intended to help participants make healthy life choices.

 Creative Expression. Over 20 craft courses designed to enable participants to showcase their creative skills.

Courses marked MQF are accredited by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) Malta. The Prospectus for the courses and applications can be viewed on www.lifelonglearning.gov.mt

The applications for courses commencing in October 2020 until January 2021 or May 2021, will be open from the 15th July up to the 7th August 2020.

“In today’s ever-evolving world, education could not stop at the end of compulsory education: the continued advancement through education is of profound importance. Learning not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but it also boosts sustainability, competitiveness and employability,” said Bonnici during the launch on Wednesday.

He expressed his disbelief with the fact that during the 2019/2020 academic year, more than 8,500 adults followed courses offered by the Directorate, saying that this shows how LifeLong Learning is a substantial and commendable cohort in Malta’s education system, which is why the government is working at improving things within this sector.

For the first time, a number of courses are going to be delivered completely online. This decision was taken following the very successful migration to online classes during the COVID-19 partial lockdown, when classes in physical classrooms had to be abruptly stopped because of the pandemic.

In addition, from this year, the age of application to a course has been lowered to 15 years. This decision was taken as a preventive measure to Early School Leaving, providing additional lessons at a very low rate to students who cannot afford to pay for private lessons to sit for their SEC examinations.

Permanent Secretary Frank Fabri explained that Malta has seen a significant decrease in Early School Leaving numbers as the rate currently sits at 16.7%, from what used to be 21.7%.

The EU Commission has acknowledged the efforts that Malta is putting in lowering these numbers, while also increasing those within LifeLong Learning. Fabri explained that Malta has reached the 10% mark of people who participate in the programme, making it on par with the EU average.

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