European, Global and intercultural dimension in curriculum development
Adult Education Unit
The Directorate for Lifelong Learning and Early School Leavers through the Adult Education Unit organises courses in several foreign languages for adult learners. Besides courses in Maltese and English, it offers courses for adults and the general public in German, Spanish, Italian, French, Russian, Arabic, Greek, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese.
Besides language training, third country nationals who are applying for a long-term resident status can also follow the course ‘Living and Working in Malta’. Participants need to have a good knowledge of communicative English and to have obtained certificates in the course ‘Maltese as a foreign language’ (Level 1 and 2). This course gives an overview of Maltese history and culture, the Maltese economy, the Maltese society and demographics, the Maltese environment and the European Union. The learning outcomes of the course ‘Living and Working in Malta’ include:
• recalling the important events that occurred during the presence of different settlers in Malta since 5200B.C. Trainees will also be able to visualize how these settlers influenced Maltese traditions and customs which are still with us today;
• discussing and exploring Malta’s major resources, competitiveness of location, investment incentives and workforce utility;
• summarizing the knowledge, theories and facts that make up Maltese society. Trainees will also be able to state the demographics of Malta including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population;
• Investigating the Maltese environment. The trainees will be able to describe the climate, protected sites, aquaculture, fresh water, waste separation, agriculture, geomorphology and the coast/beaches;
• listing the main basic facts concerning the European Union (EU) and stating the main institutions of the EU and the role they play. Trainees will be able to establish the main agreements and treaties of the EU from 1945 up to today.
Language Training Programme for Public Officers
The Centre for Development, Research and Training (CDRT) within the Office of the Prime Minister is offering training schemes in French and German for 2016/7. Scholarships are open to public officers in the Malta Public Service. The overall objective of such training programmes is to provide public officers with opportunities to upgrade the linguistic skills which are required at their place of work. These training programmes are offered in collaboration with the various Language Institutes across the island.
Training for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
The main function of the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS) is the implementation of national legislation and policy concerning the welfare of refugees, persons enjoying international protection and asylum seekers. Within AWAS open centres, support workers, welfare officers and social workers assist residents with their various needs and queries such as employment, education, health and working towards independence. Care team members have also assisted residents with gaining lawful employment, enrolling in courses, and helping in finding places to rent in the community. In addition, the care team monitors and follows those deemed as vulnerable (such as those with mental health issues). Education services are generally provided in collaboration with Education Directorates through their various services and colleges.
In 2015, through an EU funded project (“Information Sessions for Residents of Open Centres” ERF 2013/04), AWAS organised information sessions on education, employment, health, housing, budgeting, hygiene and social skills. Over 130 residents in open centres attended. In 2016, AWAS delivered these information sessions in collaboration with the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE). By September 2016, AWAS will launch an updated version of the information booklet which covers information related to the above mentioned topics.
Konnect Kulturi is a team within Integra foundation responsible for education and community development, working in particular with refugees and other migrants. It offers a safe space for learning, dialogue and support. Through its team of volunteers and interns, Integra provides a drop-in centre and offers English and Maltese lessons which are tailor-made to meet the participants’ learning needs. Through the community drop-in centre ‘Dinja Wahda’, Integra provides a number of support services, including informal educational opportunities, English language support, access to internet, assistance with CV writing, information and referral to mainstream services. The drop-in also includes a library.
KOPIN provides voluntary services for women and children, including unaccompanied minors residing in Dar il-Liedna, an open centre for asylum seekers families and unaccompanied minors. These services range from cultural orientation to English language classes, to afterschool homework support, food handling courses, CV writing training as well as recreational activities.
Partnerships and Networks
Breaking Barriers, an Erasmus+ Programme – Project Information
The aims and objectives of the project include research and sharing of best practices in basic literacy, training adult educators and creating an innovative digital media toolkit. This project has eight partners from eight different countries including Malta, Cyprus, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and the UK. Malta is represented by the Directorate for Lifelong Learning and Early School Leavers.
The project “Breaking Barriers – Embracing Literacy through Digital Media” aims to address challenges and needs in adult literacy and to ‘break barriers’ faced by both learners and educators. It does so by establishing strategic collaborations and exchanges between European organisations with a proven track record in the teaching of basic skills to adult.
More specifically, the project focuses on tackling illiteracy across cultures. In particular, the project focuses on best practices in adult teaching methodologies and innovation in basic literacy teaching through the use of digital media and story-telling. The over arching aim is to increase the quality of adult literacy teaching and the number of adults participating in these courses. The project highlights four key areas:
1) Training of adult educators in basic literacy skills
2) Sharing of cross-border best practices related to basic literacy competencies
3) Creation of customised courses for semi-literate adults
4) Creation of a toolkit for adult educators focusing on the use of storytelling and/or innovative digital media.
A number of activities have already taken place such as the launching workshop, research by the different partners, study visits, and two peer learning activities. Intellectual output such as the toolkit and 10 week course for adult educators have taken place during the summer months. Meetings now include digital media training and further study visits to partner countries. The aim of these study visits is to share best practices and to conduct case studies from our partner countries and gather information through workshops to produce a digital media toolkit by the end of the project.