The Malta Independent 21 April 2024, Sunday
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Updated: Government schools are to be given €10,000 each as financial aid for students

Sabrina Zammit Tuesday, 11 October 2022, 13:18 Last update: about 3 years ago

Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on Tuesday that all government schools will receive €10,000 to be used specifically to offer financial help to students.

Abela was speaking at a Cabinet meeting held at the St. Nicolas Secondary School College in Dingli on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister said that 2,000 students are currently benefitting from Scheme 9, through which they are allowed to choose one of the following for the whole year: free uniform, free stationery or free lunches.

Scheme 9 began in the 2016-17 scholastic year as an Education Ministry initiative to give a helping hand to disadvantaged schoolchildren.

Abela added that now, depending on a case-to-case basis, students will be allowed to benefit from more than one of those things.

“Nobody should be left behind,” Abela said.

He also mentioned how Junior College is now offering courses that last four years. He said that although only one student opted for this option, he expressed how they were able to maximise the student’s ability.

He said that this reflects the inclusive vision that the government has for the education system.

Abela said that the school system needs to be developed further so as not to leave “any children behind and to continue build a system which helps them in their whole ambitions".

He said that during the pandemic, the scholastic system was faced with many challenges but now students are more excited as they live the full experience physically at the school.

Abela said that as the Labour Party promised in its electoral manifesto, the government is going to work on every initiative which it proposes that concerns children as “education is a fundamental key for our society”.

Present for the Cabinet meeting was also Psychologist Mark G Borg who said that during the last years the early school leavers average has decreased.

Whereas some years ago it was around 20%, it is now at 10%, which matches European averages.

He said that these numbers wouldn't be possible if it weren’t for government initiatives such as the GEM16 programme and MCAST and ITS diverse programme.

He said that these ensure that children remain in school for a longer time as otherwise they would end up in the job market as soon as they finished their obligatory years.

Borg said that all education sector stake holder should seek to go above what exams promote as as unexpected as it was that maltese school has a mix of different children coming from different nations, they also represent different abilities and these should be reflected in the education system.

Present for the press conference were also two students who represented the school George Vella and Antonia Capel, where they both raised issues which have an impact on students in general. They called for a better scholastic curriculum, one which teaches them how to live outside of school such as the inclusion of how to work Maltese TAX and agribusiness as a subject in school.

During the meeting there were also representatives from independent school and Church schools where they both said that the education system needs to be more inclusive in how it operates and assess.

The Education Officer responsible for Physical Education Kevin Azzopardi said that the national school of sports has now very recently modified slightly its entry requirements to allow more students to get in.

He said that this was done after stakeholders were consulted together with people who are in the school on a daily basis that it can offer a more inclusive environment.

On his part, Education Minister Clifton Grima said that the government needs to do everything it can to provide an atmosphere where children enjoy learning.

He said that teachers have a very important role in teaching children from a very age and that is why, they are important for the nation.

He said that the government is currently working on a number of ongoing projects to better the structures of several school.

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