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Stipends extended to students with disability and students living in orphanages

Stipends will be increased pro rata to reflect the cost of living adjustment, while eligibility criteria for supplementary allowance will be revised

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
18 October 2016, 11:57am
The literacy project will initially be rolled out in one school in Cospicua, Birkirkara, St Paul’s Bay and Victoria, Gozo
The literacy project will initially be rolled out in one school in Cospicua, Birkirkara, St Paul’s Bay and Victoria, Gozo
A new project will be launched in 2017 to tackle illiteracy in schools through sports, specifically using football as a means to make reading more attractive and to encourage children to read more, according to finance minister Edward Scicluna.

The project will initially be rolled out in one school in Cospicua, Birkirkara, St Paul’s Bay and Victoria, Gozo.

Scicluna said construction was set to start in 2017 on three new primary schools in Marsascala, St Paul’s Bay and Victoria, Gozo.

A new day care centre is also scheduled to be built in St Julian’s, while the primary school in Rabat is going to be extended, so that it will be housed in one building.

The minister said that the government was committed to continue strengthening the stipends given to students attending post-secondary, higher and tertiary education institutions.

As such, stipends will be increased pro rata to reflect the cost of living adjustment, while the thresholds for eligibility to supplementary allowance will also be revised.

Disabled students and students living in Church homes and conservatories, will now automatically be eligible for maintenance grants and the supplementary allowance.

Students who extend their studies by one additional year will continue receiving their stipends, as though they were repeating a year in their course.

Scicluna said that, as of 2017, full-time students under 24 years of age and who also do some work as self-employed, will be able to pay a 15% social security contributions on the income from work.

Students over 16 years of age attending Level 3 of Maltese qualifications for hospitality and customer care, welding and fabrication at the Alternative Studies Programme in Paola, will also start receiving a stipend.

Scicluna said that tablets will be introduced in all Year 4 classes in government, church and independent schools, while all computers over eight years old will be replaced.

The Skills Council will be tasked with analysing and determining which skills will be necessary in the years to find gainful employment, so that educational institutions will start teaching students these skills.

€400,000 were being allocated to cover sabbaticals applied for by teachers in public, church and independent schools, Scicluna said.

He said that work would continue on the extension of the Mechanical Engineering Lab, the Physics and Mathematics buildings, the Postdoc building and the multi-religion building at the University.

Renovations of the University Valletta Campus and the Junior College will continue.

Work will continue on the buildings to house the Institute of Engineering and Transport, the library and the Learning Support Unit on the new MCAST campus.

Scicluna said that the €26 million Esplora Science Centre will be the first interactive centre offering related activities, making science more popular and attractive to students.

“Local researchers will continue receiving financial support through Horizon 2020 and other financial schemes,” he said.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...