Students will receive an increase to their stipend based on the cost-of-living adjustment, Finance Minster Clyde Caruana has announced.

Earlier on Monday, Caruana briefed journalists that this would be an estimated increase of €50 a year. 

Students had seen a 10 per cent increase in stipends across the board last year, after they previously only increased in tandem with cost-of-living adjustments.

The 10 percent increase is estimated to have cost the country some €5 million. A 15 per cent increase in stipends was also promised in Labour’s electoral manifesto during the last general election in March. Students' stipends began receiving a cost-of-living increase in 2014. 

Last year, students following a general course started receiving a stipend of €100.92 every four weeks, up from €91.75.

Those in a prescribed course started receiving €176.60 a month this year up from €160.55 while high-priority course students got €365.27 up from €332.07.

In an extension of the one tablet per child scheme, Caruana said that from the next scholastic year, Year 7 students will be receiving a new laptop.

In other education-related measures, the minister said that upgrading works on schools in Għaxaq, Msida, Rabat and the sports complex in Sta Luċija will be completed by next year. Work on a new ITS campus at Smart City will also begin next year, he added. 

With the removal of COVID-19 restrictions, the distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables in primary schools will continue, while discussions will be held to extend the scheme into secondary schools as well. 

Existing scholarships and tax credits for students pursuing Masters and Doctoral degrees will be maintained next year, while some €10 million will be allocated to the existing ongoing training programmes Training for Employment, Investing in Skills, Access to Employment and Vaste. Some €5 million will also be invested in existing research and innovation schemes. 

Caruana also promised that in January discussions for a new sectoral agreement for educators will begin.

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