Two important reports were published this week which indicate that the education sector in Malta is continuing to improve on a number of indicators.
Earlier today, the National Statistics Office reported that the early school leaving rate for 2017 has now dropped to 17.7%, a further drop from the 20.3% rate of 2014 and the 27.1% rate of 2009.
While acknowledging that this is indeed higher than the EU average, it is important to note that historically the Maltese rate was very high and that the decreases noted over the past years are four times larger than the EU average decreases in this area, indicating that Malta is quickly catching up with its European counterparts.
Over the past days, the Education and Training Monitor 2018 was published and the Ministry notes the below:
- Tertiary attainment has increased from 26.5% (2014) to 30% (2017);
- The report notes that early school leaving rate is 18.6%, down from 20.3% however the latest figure published by the NSO shows this as 17.7%;
- The employment rates of graduates has increased from 93% (2014) to 94.5% (2017). This is significantly higher than the EU average, which at present stands at 80.2%;
- Adult participation in learning has increased from 7.4% (2014) to 10.1% (2017).
The Ministry also welcomes positive remarks by the European Commission relating to the modernisation of the education system, participation in early childhood education, the collective agreement which “has paved the way for several reforms”, work relating to vocational education, reforming work-based learning and apprenticeships, the promotion of adult learning as well as the steps taken to make education more inclusive.
The Ministry also takes note of other remarks such as the University of Malta act and the standards in the higher education sector. The regulatory framework in the higher secondary is functioning and is stronger than ever. Over the past years, the NCFHE received 175 requests for accreditation by different providers and only 82 were accepted after due process. A number of accreditations provided were also withdraw when standards were not met.
Between 2016-2018 the NCFHE has also investigated 74 compliance cases, of which 46 cases have been completed and 28 cases are ongoing.
Over the coming months, the Ministry will be working with the European Commission and stakeholders to showcase the steps taken over the past years to further improve the high standards of this sector.