National Education Strategy 2024-2030 Public Consultations

National Education Strategy 2024-2030 Public Consultations
Feb 2 2024 Share

“This is an Education Strategy that will transform the education sector by placing individuals at the center – students, educators, and parents. We aim to ensure that education is of high quality through increased support and resources for educators, allowing students to realize their full potential.” 

This was stated by the Minister for Education, Sports, Youth, Research, and Innovation, Clifton Grima, during the commencement of the latest series of public consultation meetings on the National Education Strategy 2024-2030.

The meetings are being held at the Malta Council for Science and Technology building in Raħal Ġdid, addressing each sector, with the initial one focused on stakeholders in the education sector.

Minister Grima emphasized that this strategy is not the product of any office; instead, it is built collaboratively, with the first consultation meetings being conducted directly with educators, students, and parents. 

Educators were central in shaping this strategy, recognizing that every individual unlocking their potential in the educational journey relies on the guidance of educators. Over the past few months, more than 200 consultation meetings have taken place, involving not only those directly associated with the education sector but also the general public.

This strategy aligns with other initiatives developed in recent months, providing a holistic transformation of the sector. It doesn’t just pave the way for the year 2040; it lays the groundwork for beyond. 

Before the presentations, attendees also shared their contributions and thoughts on the document, emphasizing that the education sector is dynamic and constantly evolving to meet emerging global needs. The strategy is forward-thinking, preparing for the future of children, ensuring they have all the opportunities to achieve their aspirations while addressing emerging needs. Overall, it aims to provide education that enables students to reach their maximum potential.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Matthew Vella, explained that this was an extensive exercise to promote dialogue and consultation, expressing enthusiasm for the imminent implementation of this strategy. He emphasized that for these changes to occur, training and the necessary support are essential, ensuring the ongoing improvement of the education sector.


Civil Protection Rescue Paraglider In Difficulty At Riviera

Civil Protection Rescue Paraglider In Difficulty At Riviera
Feb 2 2024 Share

Malta’s Civil Protection Department was called to Riviera Beach to assist a paraglider who found himself in difficulty earlier this week. 

Rescuers from Fire Station 3 convened on site to assist the man. The status of the victim is still currently unknown as of yet. 

The Malta Police Force and a medical team were also on site. 


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63,000 Persons To Benefit From €25 Million Investment

63,000 Persons To Benefit From €25 Million Investment
Feb 2 2024 Share

This week, 63,000 individuals are set to receive five additional payments, totaling an investment exceeding €25 million. These payments encompass various benefits, such as the Bonus for those ineligible for contributory pensions, Elderly Assistance, Additional High Cost of Living Benefit, and the initiation of pension adjustments for individuals born prior to 1962 and Roman Catholic pensioners. 

Minister for Social Policy and Children’s Rights, Michael Falzon, and Permanent Secretary Mark Musù shared these details during a press conference.

Approximately 13,000 people, not meeting the requirements for a contributory pension, will receive a bonus starting this Saturday, with an investment of €7.2 million. The bonus has increased this year, ranging from €50 to €500 for those contributing between 1 and 4 years and €600 for those contributing between 5 and 9 years. Beneficiaries reaching 75 years of age will continue receiving the bonus alongside Elderly Assistance. 

Since its launch in 2015, this benefit has disbursed almost €41 million. Additionally, Elderly Assistance will be distributed at the end of this week, benefiting around 40,000 individuals, with an investment of €14.9 million. This year, the Elderly Assistance is increasing by €50, with those aged 75 to 79 receiving €300 annually and those aged 80 and above receiving €450 annually. 

The Permanent Secretary clarified that the Department of Social Security is gradually equalizing pension rates for individuals born before 1962. To date, over €2.5 million has been processed in nearly 5,000 pension reviews. Furthermore, starting February 9, an additional increase will be provided to 1,650 Roman Catholic pensioners, part of an ongoing process that will fully commence pension payments to surviving spouses after another 3 years. 

This additional amount, in addition to the €15 received at the beginning of the year, will be adjusted based on the spouses’ salaries at retirement. The Permanent Secretary also noted that approximately 200,000 people have received the additional COLA benefit, amounting to a total expenditure of €16 million.


The PN’s 12 Step Plan To Tackle Mental Health In Malta

The PN's 12 Step Plan To Tackle Mental Health In Malta
Feb 2 2024 Share

The Nationalist Party has issued a 12 step plan to address the mental health sector in Malta.

The Opposition said, in an official statement that ‘individuals grappling with diverse mental health conditions face an unjust challenge in obtaining prescribed medications.’

‘Every day, patients across all age groups encounter difficulty accessing medicines listed in the Government Formulary, leading them to resort to private purchases due to limited alternatives.’

Concerns have been raised by many patients, their families, and voluntary organizations in the sector regarding the acquisition of subpar-quality medications, as the ideal ones are not available through the Formulary, necessitating alternative procurement methods, the PN said. 

Unfortunately, this shortage adversely impacts patient care and well-being, further burdening families financially. Apart from the difficulties in obtaining essential medications, patients and their families now shoulder the financial strain of acquiring medicines from the private sector due to stockouts in the Government’s supply. 

‘This situation hinders an improvement in the quality of life.’

‘The Nationalist Party vehemently advocates for the immediate inclusion of new and high-quality mental health medications in the Government Formulary to enhance patient care. The government must also ensure the prevention of medication stockouts. This situation adds pressure on medical professionals and workers in this sector, who conscientiously fulfill their duties with a genuine concern for patient welfare.’

‘The Nationalist Party remains unwavering in its commitment to an improvement plan in this sector, focusing on reducing bottlenecks and fostering a better life in our country.’

The 12 Guidelines Proposed:

Establish a new hospital for mental health care in close proximity to Mater Dei Hospital.

Continue ongoing renovations at Mount Carmel Hospital.

Ensure mental health care is provided at a level comparable to the treatment of other conditions.

Invest in the Medicines Formulary with new medications already available in the market, ensuring they offer a higher level of care.

Develop an education plan to reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions.

Implement an awareness program at different levels of our education system on how to recognise and seek help.

Integrate care and treatments provided in our mental health system across clinics and regions to reduce stigma.

Offer assessment programs for students and workers to identify if they are suffering from any mental health-related conditions.

Invest in human resources in our clinics and hospitals.

Encourage volunteer organizations to invest more in this sector.

Strengthen methods for individuals in crisis to seek immediate help via phone, online, or in person.

Introduce ‘safe spaces concepts’ in large or public buildings for those feeling uncomfortable or needing a brief respite without distraction.