Education – More than just schooling

The purpose of education is much more than exam results, it is about forming active citizens with employability skills

Obtaining good grades in exams is important but after 13 years in compulsory schooling it is just as important that students leave school with the required values, competences and skills base to help them in their adult life.

Mark Twain said “I’ve never let my schooling interfere with my education” and this only goes to prove that whilst we get good grades by focusing on exams, the purpose of education is much more than exam results, it is about forming active citizens with employability skills. We have too many young people leaving fifth form without the aspirations to continue studying. We want more young people to continue in education.

There are far too many students whose grades are 6 and 7. Too many who do not turn up for exams or do not even bother to register for their SEC exams. We want to reduce the number of those not in Education, Employment or training (NEETs) by decreasing the number of those whose grades actually discourage them from pursuing further education. Earlier this summer we issued another call for applications for revision classes for students who will re-sit their SEC exams this September.

The revision classes in Maltese, English, Mathematics and Physics, which we introduced last year, have proved both popular and successful. Statistics published following the first year of free revision classes show that students who attended these classes improved their grade in the September session when compared to those who didn’t, especially in Maths and Physics.

A total of 1,085 students have applied for this year’s revision classes. The number of students attending classes will be 1,996, since a considerable number of students applied for more than one subject. There are 434 attending Maltese revision classes, 553 English, 694 in Mathematics and 315 attending Physics revision classes.

The free revision classes, being given by warranted teachers, are being funded through the Youth Guarantee project. Youth Guarantee is a measure aimed at providing a possible way out to vulnerable youths who fell behind during the mainstream and formal educational path.

At ten per cent (10%), youth employment in Malta is the second lowest in the EU. So we are using the Youth Guarantee Programme, mainly to increase the number of young people in further education.

The free SEC revision classes initiative is a preventive intervention, geared towards the creation of an effect on the flow of young people at risk of exclusion. Failure to progress in the failed subjects provides very few and limited opportunities in terms of further training and therefore puts youths at a strong risk of exiting the educational system without a sound qualification attainment, thus leading to social exclusion.

We aim to provide a structured revision course with an objective of maximising each student’s potential. These revision classes should also help in improving students’ confidence to take exams. Exams are a sort of evaluation and all passes are a first step towards a successful future in any area.