The Malta Independent 24 October 2020, Saturday

€28 million investment in education in 10 days

Owen Bonnici Friday, 16 October 2020, 07:01 Last update: about 7 days ago

Yet another investment in the education sector. Last Wednesday I laid the foundation stone for the new Msida Primary School, an investment of €10 million and which will accommodate 500 students.

The project involves the construction of a completely new school on the same site where the old building was recently demolished except for part of the façade of the old school which will be incorporated in the new design.

ADVERTISEMENT

The new school will have about 40 classes - 26 normal classes and a number of other classes for specific subjects including personal and social development, arts, music, science, literacy, and ethics. The school will also have a childcare centre, a public library and a hall that will accommodate about 300 people.

The public library, the hall and even an area of the recreational space will also be made available to local community after school hours. The size of the entire school, including recreational areas, will be 10,000 square meters.

This will be a modern and futuristic educational facility specifically designed to provide the best education for our children and will be an educational facility equipped not only to offer formal education, but will have the necessary tools to teach other skills that children need in daily life.

The laying of the foundation stone of the new primary school is the result of one of numerous decisions taken to enhance existing schools and bring them in the modern era. The Msida Primary was a major concern with serious and visible structural damages but with the building of this new school students and educators will be enjoying a new state of the art school.

Part of the project entails the building of a car park on two levels which will take over 100 cars and a new complex for the Msida Sea Scouts.

The new school will have two innovative features for schools in our country. The concept of 'outdoor classroom environment' will be introduced and also an innovative concept with the creation of a ‘green wall’ on one of the school's facades which will be lined with a vertical garden. This will also be extended to the yards of the school.

This project follows the inauguration of the €13 million new Primary School in Qawra and the inauguration of the €5 million modernization and news extensions at the Zejtun Secondary School.

Whilst the refurbished and restored Arts School in Valletta will be inaugurated by the end of the year, and ongoing works being carried out on the multipurpose hall in St Thomas More in St Lucia Secondary School.

Another project is the construction of a new primary school in Victoria (Gozo) which will replace the current one and which is about 160 years old. A project that also includes the expansion and modernisation of the Middle School in the same area.

We have an amazing plan and the future is even more amazing. I thank all those at the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools for the brilliant work they are doing and their dedication to implement such plans.

 

+++

 

Wednesday, students from the last two remaining year groups returned to their schools so that from all children attending state schools are now back in education, in their respective classrooms.

 

This follows a decision that was taken that for this scholastic year that students attending the compulsory years of their education return to school spread over a period of one week between October 7, 2020 and today. This decision was also followed by other schools, notably Church schools.

A total of 33,361 students are enrolled in state schools in the kindergarten and compulsory education years. There are also 22,374 other students in the same years who are enrolled with non-state schools.

This year a number of unprecedented measures have been taken for the reopening of the schools in the light of the circumstances brought about by COVID-19. On 2nd September 2020, the Health Authorities published a protocol for the reopening of schools after consultation with the Education Authorities. This protocol has been implemented through more than 50 measures taken in all state schools and an independent risk assessment has been carried out for each school, by experts considered to be competent persons by the OHSA. Moreover, changes have been made to the syllabi and various teaching methods to meet the new realities of this scholastic year, whilst agreements have been made with key stakeholders to ensure that there are educators in the students’ classrooms, even when an educator does not attend school for justified reasons.

This week The Foundation for Educational Services opened two new special Club 3-16 centres to cater for students from Church schools which will not be receiving students physically on a daily basis during this scholastic year.

The two centres—Maria Bambina at the Junior College and San Ġużepp at MCAST—will permit students to follow online resources prepared by their school in an environment which is suitable for their needs during the days when these students will not be attending school.

Health authorities’ protocols are being adhered to in these two centres.

This service, which is being given by the Foundation for Educational Services, will permit parents to continue with their work and career with their mind at rest, knowing that their children are being safeguarded. The service is being given from 7a.m until 6p.m. Parents can pick up their children at any time during these hours of service. The service is free of any charge up till 2.30p.m., whilst normal Club 3-16 rates apply from 2.30p.m. onwards.

The service is up to now receiving children from various Church schools.

I again augur all the students success in their educational journey.

 

  • don't miss