The President of Junior College’s student union (KSJC) has come out strongly against a proposal by MATSEC that would oblige all sixth formers to study a foreign language.
“Speaking in my personal capacity, I don’t think it makes sense to oblige students to study something they don’t want to study,” Jaden Dimech told Lovin Malta. “While it’s true that knowledge of a foreign language is an advantage, imposing it on students won’t help them or our education system.”
All students must currently study at least one foreign language up until their O-Levels and then pick at least one language, including English or Maltese, as one of their five optional sixth form subjects.
Now, as part of a proposed sixth form revamp, MATSEC wants this language to be a foreign one, with a pass in the subject mandatory to enrol at University.
Mario Pace, an expert in foreign language teaching, has urged students to welcome this reform, arguing that proficiency in a foreign language has become “fundamental” in this day and age.
However, Dimech argued that MATSEC shouldn’t condition the students’ subject choices based on what situations they might encounter in the future.
“Yes, students experiment in several different subjects up until Form 5, but they then start gaining proficiency in specific subjects of their choice in sixth form,” he said. “If a student doesn’t want to take a subject, they shouldn’t be forced to take it.”
“Might they regret their choices later on? Life can be like that; sometimes you regret the choices you make, but that’s how life is”
Dimech said that the initial feedback from students about MATSEC’s proposal has been overwhelmingly negative and confirmed that KSJC will discuss it internally to decide whether to take an official stance.