Studies show worrying situation in education system, says Minister

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Studies show worrying situation in education system, says MinisterThe Minister for Education and Employment, Evarist Bartolo, unveiled the Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta 2014 – 2024 during a meeting with the MCESD in Valletta.

Addressing the meeting, Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, Dr Helena Dalli stressed on the link between education and national development. She also spoke about the problem of skills matching.

She said that the strategy will be updated in the light of the emphasis that the Government is making on diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities. Dr Dalli spoke on the importance of educating people from a very young age to respect and celebrate differences and to embrace equality and inclusion. She said that education is the key to make this happen, and the updated strategy must cover this.

Minister Evarist Bartolo said that studies published over the past months, such as the TIMSS and PIRLS studies, painted a worrying picture of the situation and it was vital to address these issues. Minister Bartolo added that the Maltese economy is creating jobs but the major concern is to find a skilled workforce on a local level which can absorb such employment.

Dr Frank Fabri said that this strategy aligns all sectoral education strategies and policies, and has four broad but measurable targets in line with European and world benchmarks and that will set the education agenda in Malta for the next decade:

– reduce the gaps in educational outcomes, decrease the number of low achievers and raise the bar in literacy, numeracy, and science and technology competence;

– support educational achievement of children at-risk-of-poverty and from low socio-economic status, and reduce the relatively high incidence of early school-leavers;

– raise levels of student retainment and attainment in further, vocational, and tertiary education and training; and

– increase participation in lifelong learning and adult learning.

In close collaboration between the educational, economic sectors and civil society, the Ministry for Education and Employment is facilitating a consultation process from the 22nd February until the 31th May 2014 about an updated educational plan for Malta focused on the four main targets.

This consultation process will form the basis for the process of improvement from 2014 to 2024 during which time our students develop their personal and social potential and acquire the appropriate knowledge, key skills, competences and attitudes through a value-oriented formation including equity, social justice, diversity, and inclusivity.

The Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta: 2014-2024 can be downloaded here in English, here in Matese. Feedback could be sent by email on education.strategy@gov.mt

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