Current Affairs
Students who take up vocational subjects will now have classes with a new look

As from September, secondary school students at state schools who choose vocational subjects will have their lessons in classrooms which are being given a new look with equipment which resembles what they will find in the workplace. This is so students will be given practical experience to prepare them for the working world.

As from the next scholastic year, the number of vocational subjects taught at Government schools will go up to nine.

As soon as we entered the classroom at San Tumas More secondary school in Santa Lucia, it was like walking into a modern hair salon, complete with mirrors and hairdryers all around the classroom. This is the Hairdressing & Beauty class, where students can learn everything related to beauty from the cutting and styling of hair, to manicures and facials.

Students who choose Fashion & Textiles, will find a class equipped with sewing machines, fabric and mannequins.  These are just two of the four new vocational subjects which will be taught as from the next scholastic year. The other two subjects are  Retail and Media Literacy.

Another class is the spitting image of the kitchen in a hotel restaurant, from pots and pans to cookers and plates of very size for hospitality students who will also have lessons at actual hotels.

Another class looks like a small hospital ward equipped with modern equipment which will help students who have taken up Health & Social Care to learn how to treat patients.

“Students are getting a small taste of what nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy involves. They are introduced to these things so that if one day they feel they want to follow that path they can take up that vocation,” said Michelle Abela, a Health & Social Care Educational Officder.

This class is equipped with showers and kitchenettes so that students can learn how to cook for children and the elderly while developing their passion of caring for those who are vulnerable. “They have a nappy changer and realistic-looking dolls which cry so that they can even realise why a baby is crying.”

These classes which are the first of their kind in Malta, are being equipped at an investment of €10 million so that students can learn how to do certain things before entering the workplace.

Director (Learning & Assessment Programmes) Tano Bugeja, explained that students can even sit for their O levels in these subjects. “We want students to keep studying, so that when they finish secondary school they go on to post-secondary education to eventually find a job in this sector or a similar sector to be of service to the country.”

Mr Bugeja said that this investment in equipment complements the investment which was made to train teachers in vocational subjects with the aim of giving students the best educational experience possible.

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