Making learning lifelong

Our drive is to empower citizens through more personalised and innovative approaches in adult learning.

Education should not be restricted to studies in a classroom. Lifelong learning emphasises the need for lifelong education. It is an on-going process of learning and through adult education we can help develop the community as an advanced knowledge society, with sustainable economic development and greater social cohesion.

There is a great economic impact worldwide from learning for all age groups and the number of interest-based subjects helps broaden the general level of education in our country.

The Directorate for Lifelong Learning and Early School Leavers has the mission to increase participation in adult learning and to address the imbalances in participation to achieve a more equitable state of affairs. It is responsible for the selection, recruitment and placement of adult educators within its different sectors, namely the seven Centres for Evening Classes, the Lifelong Learning Centre in Msida as well as courses offered at community level.

The directorate is guided by the vision that people can and should be given the opportunity to learn throughout their lives. Learning should play a full role in personal growth, solidarity and local and global responsibility. Our drive is to empower citizens through more personalised and innovative approaches in adult learning.

 By the end of 2013, the Directorate for Lifelong Learning engaged 279 adult educators on a part-time basis in the teaching and support of adult learning classes. The directorate continues to train and recruit adult educators who are specialised in various fields.

 Throughout the learning year 2013/2014, the directorate received 13,001 applications for adult

learning courses. A considerable majority of these applicants (67%) are female, outnumbering male participants by a 2:1 ratio. Over the past years, the courses offered by the unit have continued to attract more learners. In 2013/14 there was a substantial increase of adult learners as compared to 2008/2009 when around 5,500 learners were enrolled.

 The introduction of an online system has facilitated the method of registration and online payment, thus simplifying the system. Support is provided to those persons who are not IT conversant and who need help with online registration and online payments.

 This coming scholastic year, 110 subjects are being offered at different levels. Courses in the 2014/2015 year have been grouped under several categories. There is a wide range of subjects including courses in 13 languages. Other topics vary from Digital Competences (13 subjects) to Mathematics, Science and Technology, to Sense of Initiative and Entrepreneurship, in which several subjects are being offered, and Family Learning (four subjects).

Courses in Vocational Education & Training feature prominently in the coming year’s programme, with around 38 subjects. These are offered at different levels and this year there are up to 890 courses offered across seven Adult Learning Centres, 40 local council and 17 NGOs and community centres in Malta and Gozo.

 Lifelong learning is not restricted to adult learning. The directorate is also responsible for the Visual & Performing Arts Schools in Malta and Gozo. In October 2013, a total of 3,773 learners were registered and attended the Visual & Performing Arts Schools.  Courses are offered in art, drama and music. The directorate is now working to ensure more collaboration between the three artistic studies. The Xewkija Visual and Performing Arts School will ensure that such synergies between creative disciplines are created and exploited.

 The Visual and Performance Arts Schools should offer clear and effective exposure to meaningful cultural and creative practices. Our vision is for these schools to provide excellence in the formative needs of educators and students who pursue training leading to creative careers. We want to ensure that a framework for professional recognition, accreditation and networking is sustained to cater for the professional development in art, drama and music.

We also believe that these schools also play a significant role in developing cultural awareness and this would help the community appreciate, actively participate in and bolster audiences at national and international cultural events.