SEC and MATSEC exam fees to be halved

Malta will be the first country to use blockchain technology in its education sector as it introduces the technology to increase security and accessibility of certificates issued by national institutions

The fees for SEC and MATSEC examinations will be cut by half in 2018, before being scrapped completely the following year, the government announced yesterday.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said in the 2018 budget speech that this measure would allow more students to pursue higher education, when they might have otherwise been impeded by their financial situation.

This was a further electoral promise the government would be fulfilling, the minister said.

Scicluna said the government would be introducing a pilot project aimed at improving services offered to autistic students.

“We will be ensuring that schools are up to par allowing autistic children to feel comfortable in the environment provided and we will also be installing multi-sensory rooms in more state colleges,” he said. “At the same time, learning support assistants, teachers and staff will be trained in psycho-social services to be better prepared for any eventuality.”

Scicluna said that a new primary school in Marsascala would be completed next year. Work on three other new schools – in Qawra, Msida and Victoria – will proceed on schedule.

All the new schools will include multi-sensory halls, childcare centres and airconditioning systems.


First country to use blockchain in education

Malta will be the first country to make use of blockchain technology in the education sector as it incorporates the new technology to ensure greater security and accessibility to certificates granted by the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), the National Council for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE) and the Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS).


Incentives for post-graduate studies

As promised in the electoral manifesto, full-time students following post-graduate studies will be exempt from tax.

Students following a Masters degree will be exempt for one year, while students following a Ph.D. will be exempt from paying tax for two years.

To benefit, students must have started their courses this year or are yet to start, must be younger than 40 years when they start the post-graduate courses and must not earn more than €60,000 annually.

Part-time students will enjoy the same exemption on a pro-rata basis.