[WATCH] Applications to 500 Lifelong Learning courses to open tomorrow

Applications for some 500 courses in Lifelong Learning will be opening on Tuesday 12 July until 7 August

The desire to learn among older generations is highly pronounced - Mario Cardona
The desire to learn among older generations is highly pronounced - Mario Cardona
Applications to 500 Lifelong Learning courses to open tomorrow

Director of the directorate for Lifelong Learning Mario Cardona explained the courses will start in September, and that applicants would be able to choose from 478 courses in 89 different subjects.

Cardona explained that the directorate was currently in one of the busiest summers with courses teaching basic skills under the Erasmus Plus programme, showing that the desire to learn among older generations is highly pronounced.

“We are trying our best to address these needs, and we are determined to offer more education opportunities to be easily accessed by everyone,” Cardona said.

The courses are offered at nine centres and 38 local councils as well as 17 NGOs, and an average of 10,000 students have applied for previous courses.

Among the new subjects on offer, the directorate has added an ICT course for beginners to teach computer and Internet skills including online shopping, email and social media use.

Cardona also explained that many of the courses would be offered in both English and Maltese to accommodate the needs of migrants who might be interested in the courses.

Education minister Evarist Bartolo said that Lifelong Learning had become a necessity particularly due to the constant changes in society.

“We need lifelong education to help people to participate in society as democratically and effectively as possible,” he said, adding that values and skills ought to be developed in order to participate fully.

“We also need lifelong education to increase our skills sets and increase or maintain employability over future years,” Bartolo said.

Bartolo added that the government aimed to involve people in learning opportunities and to create a culture of inclusion to encourage students to participate in their learning experience.

Assistant director in the directorate Daniela Blagojevic gave an overview of some of the courses on offer and explained that this year the directorate was also offering new courses in visual and performance arts. She added that the directorate was also offering Maltese and English reading and literacy skills under the EU’s Breaking Barriers throughout the summer months.

Those interested in the courses are invited to log on to lifelonglearning.gov.mt

Describing a study into adult learning in Malta, head of the arts department at the education faculty of the university of Malta Peter Mayo said that the research sought to increase adult participation.

He explained that according to the study, participation declined as persons grow older.

“The shift from lifelong education to learning, puts the pressure on learners rather than systems,” Mayo said, adding that the concept also sought to show that education should not focus solely on work and employment prospects.

During his speech at the conference, Mayo also made an impassioned plea to encourage people to remain mentally active even after they retire.

“People all over the world are using their money to enter retirement homes rather than investing in education,” he said.

Mayo added that according to the research presented in the report, some of the main issues for adults learning were family responsibilities, schedule, personal reasons as well as costs, with prices remaining inaccessible to some social classes.

The professor also pointed out that locally we had a problem of small companies rarely offering support or being willing to invest in people seeking further education.

Mayo added that the main requirements were basic skills including literacy and writing, job specific skills, which were sought the world over, foreign language skills, an essential trait for Maltese people, as well as transferrable skills.