A week after all educators were back to officially start the State Schools 2021-22 Scholastic year, today Kinder I toddlers join all other State School students bringing the total of students for this year to just under 36k. Kinder II students started school last Friday.
5,981 Kinder I and Kinder II students join 30k others in primary, secondary and post-secondary state schools to a total of 36k receiving their education from 6,500 educators, LSEs and KGEs in 106 schools and other educational centres. An additional 582 workers form part of the administrative staff as Heads of Departments, Heads and Assistant Heads.
With all Health Authority protocols in place to protect the students and educators’ health due to the challenges brought about by the pandemic, this scholastic year promises to be another success, after Malta was one of just a few counties to open its schools and keep them open for the whole of the last scholastic year.
Malta was one of just a few counties to open its schools and keep them open for the whole of the last scholastic year.
The Ministry for Education invested more than €30m last year to safeguard all educators and students from the spread of COVID-19, with more investment in 2021. As was the case last year, this year also saw the need for more classes, both because of the social-distancing measures in place, but also due to the increased number of primary school enrolments. In primary schools this resulted in the need of an extra 45 classes more than last year.
With some protocols eased due to the high nationwide vaccination rate, this year schools will start seeing more, albeit controlled, activity.
TheJounal.mt is informed that the majority of educators and those in contact with students are vaccinated. 85% of those over 16 and 73% of 12-15 year-old students are also vaccinated.
The updated protocols now allow more activities to go ahead, giving students the much-needed social interaction – to get closer to what children need: learning that also helps in their social development. Laboratory practice lessons are allowed; practice lessons known as fieldwork can be given; physical education activities may take place; special and social events can be held, including birthday celebrations. The principle of groups (student bubbles) must still be respected, as well as all health protocols in place.
This scholastic year also sees the implementation of the Reformed Education Act, focusing on a balance between the rights and entitlements of parents and students.
With a new board set up for education matters, parents must now oblige to policies set out by the education division and schools. The eradication of violence at school will be further enforced with new policies that educators must adhere to.
To provide equal education that reaches every student’s needs, and not a one-size-fits-all approach, the reformed act enables the Minister to develop policies and programs to cater for certain students which may deviate from the minimum national curriculum.