Is the college system working? It is denying talented students from working and middle class backgrounds to get the best education in State Schools!

Blog post by an educator

This week’s incident at Hamrun’s Secondary School, where a teacher’s water bottle was spiked, shows in what a pitiful state this school is. This school has already been in the news in the past few years about the students’ atrocious behaviour and bullying, among other things.

We are doing the children who live in the catchment area of this school a great disservice. Why? As an educator, I wonder whether these students are getting the educational entitlement that is due to them? Do they feel safe and happy at this school?

With such recurring incidents, I rightly have my own doubts about this. This leads to the question of whether students with an attitude should attend a mainstream school or not. I would never send my own children to such a school as the students are surely not getting the education that they deserve.

As an educator it is pertinent to ask, what is the school culture? What is being done from the side of the Ministry of Education to help this school which is obviously failing? Attending a failing school has been known to impact the students’ self-esteem and discourage them from studying.

The college system was enacted in the name of inclusion. But are support systems in place to cater for these students, who although they are still in year 9 or 10, are already disenchanted with the education that they are being given. Are there support systems in place for these students who obviously are tomorrow’s criminals?

In an utopian world, everybody learns together, but isn’t it a crime to let these disaffected students ruin the learning of others who want to continue their studies? Has a study been conducted to see whether the college system is viable? Has it yielded any results? Have exam marks gone further up? Or has Malta lost its gifted and talented students? Or maybe it is time for a drastic overhaul of the college system?

One thought on “Is the college system working? It is denying talented students from working and middle class backgrounds to get the best education in State Schools!

  1. Unfortunately, incidents take place in schools, being state, church or independent. Strangely enough only those taking place within state schools hit the headlines!! The latest incident is not the only one and within the past, recent decades incidents including physical aggression against teachers were reported and discussion about the way forward followed. Within the past years, a positive aspect in this regard was the deployment of security officers within all state schools. Every incident has to be considered on this on merits and seek ways of addressing shortcomings.

    The college system was introduced way back in 2008 and from the onset, the deficiencies were quite evident. Each college consists of a cluster of schools found within a close geographical area leading to ghettoism. Our students already live in an insular environment and the college system has created a double insularity. Confining the same cohort of students for thirteen whole years is obscene in education setups. Personal grudges and biases will develop into clashes and resentment among students.

    Our whole education system requires revisiting including student support services. The system should have different schools based on different curricula to ensure that our schools embrace all streams of students with different learning styles. The one size fits all is still predominant within our system leading to a considerable chunk of every cohort being aborted by the system. The so-called failing students do not feel that the present setup is conducive enough for them to thrive further in their studies.

    The country requires persons at the high echelons of our system to adopt transformational leadership, have a clear vision and generate internal discussion, dialogue and debate leading to effective reforms embracing all students who eventually will succeed in their studies irrespective of whether they follow an academic or vocational route. Inclusion means providing an appropriate education setup for all streams of students to succeed according to different learning styles.

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