Understanding the Education System in Malta
As an expat family moving to Malta, it is important to understand the education system, which is divided into public, church, and private schools, including international schools catering to foreign students. The Malta Ministry for Education accredits all of these, ensuring country-wide standardized education.
Education is compulsory for children aged 5-16 under the Education Law. The education process consists of:
- Kindergarten (3-4 years)
- Primary education (5-10 years)
- Secondary education (11-16 years)
The academic year typically starts towards the end of September, with summer holidays beginning around end of June. Children also enjoy breaks during public holidays and designated vacation periods in November, December-January, February-March, and April.
Understanding Public Schools in Malta: Structure, Curriculum, and Opportunities
Public schools in Malta provide free education for Maltese citizens, residents, EU and EEA citizens. If you do not fall under these categories, your children can still attend school for free if at least one parent holds a Maltese work permit. Textbooks, supplies, and transportation are provided free of charge, but parents must provide uniforms and stationery.
Public education involves:
- Early childhood education (kindergarten for ages 3-4 – non-compulsory)
- Primary education (5-10 years - compulsory)
- Lower secondary education (11-16 years - compulsory)
- Upper secondary education (16-18 years – non-compulsory)
- Vocational education is also available for young adults aged 16-20, offering courses aimed at teaching a trade or developing personal skills.
As a bilingual nation, Malta uses both English and Maltese in classrooms, aiding integration. While both languages are used, schools may lean towards one. Public schools mainly use Maltese, except during English language classes.
If you intend to enrol your child in a Maltese public school, it is necessary to reach out to the local council in the area to confirm the school's capacity and to register your child. This is because school placements are typically region-based, aligned with the family's area of residence.
Exploring the Private Education Landscape in Malta
Malta's private education landscape features well-regarded private schools, such as:
- Verdala International School
- San Anton School
- St Edwards College
These schools have varied fee structures, curricula, and teaching methodologies, but they must meet government standards and are subject to mandatory accreditation by the Ministry for Education. Students graduate with state certificates.
A year of study at a private or international school will cost an average of approximately €6,000 to €10,000. They also teach mostly in English, with the exception of Maltese lessons, and students casually use both languages.
An Overview of Maltese Tertiary Education
Top tertiary education institutions include:
- The University of Malta
- Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology
- Institute of Tourism Studies
- American University of Malta
In conclusion, whether you opt for public, private, or international schooling, the Maltese education system offers robust educational opportunities for your children. However, it is crucial to consider factors like the language of instruction, curriculum, location, and fees before making a decision. As an expat, familiarizing yourself with the local education system will ensure a smoother transition for your family into Maltese society.
If you would like to receive more information on the enrollment and processes, please provide us with your contact details and one of our team members shall be in contact with you promptly.
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