Yesterday was not the best of days for Malta’s education authorities.
After Lovin Mata published a story about 19-year-old Claire DeBattista Sanderson criticising the poor standard of Malta’s education system, the young student was met with praise by many people on Facebook.
However, applause was not the only thing that stood out, and with it came many comments that harshly criticised the system.
Some youths tagged MATSEC and the Minister of Education Evarist Bartolo, calling upon them to “take note so we do not continue to have a ‘pappagalliżmu’ education were you have to learn everything by heart but instead have an education system where we are prepared to face challenges.”
Another student commented that “remembering is not the same as learning, most of the time we get fed so much information that we need to remember, that we end up lost and not even understand any of it.”
“Malta’s education system needs a change. Not to mention the negative impact it has on students’ mental health.”
Another said that “it is too overwhelming”, pointing out that “there needs to be a change due to the pressure on youths”.
Some youths posted their thoughts on the newly-created student forum Grupp Studenti Maltin, where the initial comment was posted.
“It’s about damn time school boards listen to us, the students,” said one comment in a post on the forum read. “We are victims of a failed education system. It’s a copy and pasted version of the Cictorian era system.”
The student continued by saying that “our day is planned out for us, we could only speak when spoken to and we must always carry on in a straight and orderly fashion.”
Another student expressed her anger over the fact that MCAST students with “practical industry experience get looked over or belittled because they didn’t go to University.
They were not alone in their criticism, with people from the older generation also sympathising with the young student’s concerns
One man said that the education system “works so students start to hate school from a young age. We cannot forget they have to do their homework at home and they have no time for themselves!”
“I see – I remember, I hear – I forget, I do – I understand”
A teacher also gave her opinion on the matter, saying that she “feels pressured with a large amount of syllabus and many times I feel guilty that I am not giving my students the best!” She added that “the education system here is passing the wrong message to our young students … and this is one reason why the recently introduced education system will fail.”