For the first time since COVID-19 restrictions were introduced in March 2020, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) recently began holding in-person graduation ceremonies for about 2,500 of its graduands following health authority regu­lations for organised events.

The first in the series of 12 ceremonies organised by the college was held on September 10 at its Paola campus, much to the relief of the students whose campus life had been disrupted over the past 18 months.

At a graduation ceremony held at MCAST on September 14, around 134 graduates were presented with a Higher Certificate in Inclusive Education to pursue their careers as learning support educators. Education Minister Justyne Caruana and Ian Refalo, president of the board of governors, were also present for the ceremony.

During the event, student representative Rosalie Camilleri spoke about the challenges for adult learners who found a second chance opportunity at MCAST to continue their studies. “We have come a long way, and we have shown resilience at an unprecedented time when we were suddenly faced with lockdown and several setbacks,” she said. “It was a long journey and yet we showed resilience and found full support to keep persisting. We now eagerly take on this commitment to help each student in their learning.”

Addressing the graduates, MCAST principal and CEO Joachim James Calleja said: “Graduation day is such a significant life event. You have already missed out on many events, and we wanted to pay tribute to your enormous efforts. Ours is a college for the community. In your profession as a learning support educators, you will contribute greatly to society and students who need your support, honesty and integrity. You are front-liners in our education system, caring for students who might be discouraged from becoming lifelong learners.”

In her closing speech, the education minister emphasised the relevance of inclusive education. “MCAST offers the opportunity for all to progress from one step to the next,” Caruana said. “You have acquired important skills. This day marks your achievements and should also encourage you to keep progressing in your studies and career. Inclusive education is about ensuring that no one is left behind.

“In your crucial role as educators you will help to make sure everyone has access to education and reaches their full potential. The education reform is about recognising the importance of your profession and ensuring we provide all the support needed for you and your learners to succeed.”

All ceremonies are being streamed live on the link below.

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