Over 56,000 pupils and 10,000 educators will be returning to school in the coming days as the new scholastic year gets underway.
The Education Ministry said that on Monday, a total of 31,873 students will commence their scholastic year in primary and secondary state schools together with 3,713 teachers and 2,143 learning support assistants.
It listed a number of major infrastructural projects in schools were undertaken for this scholastic year.
- A new €8 million school in Swatar (limits of Dingli) which will cater for 500 students. This project will include science laboratories, ICT rooms, a large multi-purpose sports ground and an underground car park for 80 vehicles.
- A new €8 million middle school in Kirkop which will also cater for 500 students which will include a history room overlooking archaeological finds and two outdoor sports grounds.
- A completely refurbished Żebbuġ Primary School. This school, previously a secondary level one, was closed down a number of years ago and over the past months was refurbished to house a new childcare centre (to open in December) and new classrooms. This will also cater for 500 students. The total investment for this project was €1 million.
- A €2.14 million project at the Dun Manwel Attard Young Adult Resource Centre in Wardija. The project involved the construction of an additional floor on the existing one as well as the construction of an entire new lecture block. This project meant that the school can now cater for double the number of students. The resource centre is aimed at young people, aged 16 to 22, with intellectual disabilities such as autism. The new areas consist of new classrooms, computer labs, Home Economics labs, science labs, a design & technology hub, drama rooms and a canteen.
- A €1.4 million project at Sir M. A. Refalo Sixth Form in Victoria, Gozo. The project covered the construction of an entire lecture block, adjacent to the present school, consisting of 7 lecture rooms, 2 Biology labs, 2 Physics labs, 1 Chemistry lab, 4 ICT labs and a hall.
- A refurbished Xewkija Primary School. The project consisted of an extensive refurbishment of the whole school. This includes the refurbishment of all classrooms, administration offices, toilet facilities and the hall. New classrooms for extra-curricular and supporting lectures were created. The investment for this project was €520,000.
TABLETS FOR STUDENTS
Following extensive training for educators, as from December, the roll-out of tablet computers to year 4 students will start.
Over the coming scholastic year, the plans for the implementation of the Learning Outcomes Framework in all schools will be finalized and resources will be provided in order to provide more personalized learning for all students. Plans are being set for the introduction of a Foreign Language Awareness Programme together with a Science programme in the 3 – 16 after school activities organized by the Foundation for Educational Services.
The National Literacy Agency will continue with its popular programmes ‘Aqra Miegħi’/Read with Me, Reading Ambassadors, distribution of reading books on a large scale and other initiatives which will expand and reach out to more students.
Vocational Education will continue to be given 'parity of esteem' as provided for in general education, the ministry said. In order to encourage them to further their learning, students will be provided with learning programmes such as the Prince’s Trust XL programme and the Core Curriculum Programme. Furthermore, the Gem 16+ Centre and the Alternative Learning Programme school and the Youth Inc will continue to provide opportunities to students to re-engage with learning to continue with their educational journey.
The ministry will also be launching a number of customer care services. Parents, students and the public at large can get in touch through the traditional channels such as email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and free phone number 1571 (Monday to Friday from 6am to 6pm) as well as Facebook (fb.com/edukazzjoni) and WhatsApp messaging (99914356).
See statistics on pdf below.