Education in Malta: the Maltese education system
Education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports. Education is compulsory from 5 to 16 years. Classes are given in Maltese and English, and English is taught as a second official language at the beginning of primary school.
The education system comprises:
• Pre-school education is for children 2 years 9 months to 5 years, its attendance is optional
• Compulsory education is divided into two stages: primary education (from 5 to 11 years) and secondary education (11 to 16)
• Upper secondary education, also known as the "Sixth Form" is for students who want to continue their studies at university
• University education
Continuing professional development
The "adult education and evening classes" of the Ministry of Education teaching offer various training opportunities for adults. The Department of Further Studies and Adult Training is in charge of adult education. Training topics are varied during trades or crafts, courses on school subjects, on leisure activities, as well as drama classes.
Other public or private entities also offer training. The unions, consular and professional organizations and municipalities organize general or vocational courses.
Professional and Vocational Training
Job seekers have the opportunity to receive professional training, through several programs:
▪ Training courses and employment for the long-term unemployed. The ETC (Employment Training Corporation) funds for one year, 50% of the minimum wage paid by private employers who recruit them.
▪ Program "entrepreneurial spirit" to promote entrepreneurship. Target groups are job seekers older than 40 years, women and young graduates.
▪Program of municipal employment programs that provide employment and training opportunities to job seekers and long-term aged over 40 years.
The training offer
The main public training institutions are:
▪ The Department of Education (Department of Further Studies and Adult Training) offers professional training and in the crafts sector;
▪ The NIFE (Night Institute for Further Education), created by the ETC also offers evening classes for adults wishing to pursue vocational training.
▪ The Department of Social Policy (ETC), organizes short courses for job seekers and employees.
Additional training is provided during the evening by a specialized institute, the Night Institute for Further Technical Training.
Furthermore, the private sector is involved, particularly in the areas of management and new technologies, as well as some companies, which have their own training centres.
Many certification bodies, often linked to UK certification bodies and difficult to compare, issue the professional degrees. To ensure greater transparency of qualifications, Malta has established a national council of the professional and technical qualifications (MPVQAC), which should build on the work of the Scottish council of professional qualifications (SQA) to set new standards qualification.
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