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Refugees to be offered English language lessons

The pilot project will also provide the opportunity for integration as well as language education

Tim Attard Montalto
29 August 2014, 12:50pm
Elanguest officials and ministers Michael Farrugia and Evarist Bartolo (third and fourth from left), at the launch of the project.
Refugees residing in Malta will be given the option to learn English at no cost, after an agreement was reached between the social solidarity and educatioh ministries, and English language school Elanguest.

Announcing the pilot project, Social Solidarity Minister Michael Farrugia explained that the courses will consist of 15-hour weeks over a period of four weeks and will begin in October.

"In this way, refugees will not only be learning a new language but it will also serve as a means of integration for them," he said. "It is a form of integration politics which aims to improve the quality of life of these persons."

Farrugia said that the ministry will be asking for regular updates on the academic progress of the students, as well as requesting feedback on their overall experience throughout the programme.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Evarist Bartolo, who was also present for the meeting, described the scheme as a "good example of corporate and social responsibility". He said that his ministry already had similar programmes in place but said that they were of a voluntary nature.

Both ministers expressed their hope that other English language schools will come forward with similar proposals and, with time, such courses will also be extended to asylum seekers and refugees seeking temporary protection in Malta.

Tim Attard Montalto joined MaltaToday in 2013 as a reporter.