Is a Herculean task required …
to revive flailing standards in Maltese education?
An announcement in July stated that the private independent education sector, fared much better in educating children and youth, with state school children lagging two years behind their counterparts in the independent sector. And year after year the end of compulsory schooling results at SEC show further declines in grades attained, although scientifically the results need to be correlated to the level of the examination papers, year after year. Is the education system failing the people, or are the people themselves destroying the one bastion that Malta cannot afford to lose?
A dreary and dramatic evolving problem.
As the developed world becomes more competitive, and the Maltese aspire to join these nations, are we fomenting mediocrity and celebrating generational decay in upcoming youth? The same youth who are supposed to take the baton in the economic and social development of this European nation.
We performed better when we were worse off!
The turn of the millennium saw a seismic change in technology, with the proliferation of mobile devices and the development of socials that pushed society into the uncharted era of unbridled information and knowledge. The cloud today is rich with freely available learning opportunities for anyone with access. News portals, Ted-Talks by some very well-known and not so famous speakers; MOOCS (Massive Open Online Course) where you can learn any field of study whenever and wherever; 24x7 Streaming Channels with very sophisticated docuseries that keep the interested glued to their monitor and Open Access academic paper resources that opens learning to the masses. And for a country that lacks resources, all this and a lot more freely available is a big bonus. Yet, the achievements in our educational structures seem to be tumbling instead of sky-rocketing!
Mass-production is the destruction of educational standards.
Education is not a numbers game! Why is it that the very best Universities around the globe are proud to show ratios of less than twenty students to each academic member of staff on full-time tenure? And an even smaller ratio in the primary and secondary levels of education, to nurture the love towards knowledge from a very young age.
A true and dedicated educator needs time with students, to learn about each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. The overall aim must always be to improve the competences and skills of each individual, over as many years as necessary, stretching the student to that fine limit to maximise abilities without over-reaching.
Sadly, what we are experiencing in the Maltese education scene is the exact reverse. Instead of raising the bar, motivating students to learn more, use the emerging tools that are available to become ever more competent and knowledgeable on parity with the developed world, standards are being decimated to accommodate the whims of the masses.
The solution is a difficult one, but necessary. Re-establish the measure, solidify it, and offer all the possible support to students and academics to reach the established standards. Multiple institutions in the sector, would automatically provide a competitive schooling which will have different characteristics and values, each though focused on achieving the established standards, governed by an impartial authority for all of Malta and Gozo.
A holistic education as practiced at Saint Martin’s Institute of Higher Education
The Institute’s values are based upon five main elements that are practiced with the community of learners and staff.
Integrity — All are members of the Saint Martin’s community, and therefore we must perform our respective obligations with total commitment, honesty and strong moral principles.
Empathy- Everyone must have the ability to understand and share the feelings of another fellow human being, whether in the classroom, at a place of work, commuting on a bus, driving on congested streets, and as a resident in a neighbourhood.
Consideration- Everyone has a right to be heard and understood, and the needs of the individual must be given careful thought over a period of time. Students are not just numbers in a statistic, they are human beings with their own needs, and yearning for the chance to shine. Respect must be mutual and earned on both sides.
Observation- Youngsters learn how to be a member of society based on the professionalism and attitude of their role models, primarily family members, followed closely by teachers and academics. If this role is being taken over by social media, this is only because teachers and academics have not taken the upper hand to use social media in a positive way to enhance the proper life skills necessary for social development.
Sacrifice-Maybe the most difficult value in today’s world is the concept of sacrifice — giving up something of value for the sake of another consideration. At Saint Martin’s Institute academics seem to be fighting a losing battle trying to instil patience in our students, to give up some of the trappings of modern life, just for a couple of years of dedicated academic pursuit which would bear a lifetime of value.
Our standards have never changed
In the year 2000, when Saint Martin’s Institute of Higher Education launched its degree programmes as a Recognised Teaching Institution for the University of London, offering a pathway for prospective students to be admitted with ordinary level GCE passes in Mathematics, English and any other two subjects, all hell broke loose! In fact, the Institute became a trend setter, because even State Institutions saw the merits of giving a good chance to students who had the motivation to learn and move ahead in life.
In the year 2022, Saint Martin’s Institute still keeps exactly the same admissions standards as twenty-two years ago, and will continue to enjoy the excellent classifications attained by our alumni who have gone and integrated themselves in Maltese and international businesses all over the world.
Give us a call on +356 2123 5451 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or through our socials, and we will be more than happy to help you understand your career prospects in business or computing. Check our website on https://www.stmartins.edu
The deadline for applications is 31st August, 2022 and after this date, admissions will only be possible in those classes where there may remain availability, on a first-come-first-served basis.