Malta used to be a British Colony and this significantly influenced the education system of the Maltese islands. Schooling is free and available to all children between the ages fo 3 and 16 and the curriculum is of a high level, with examinations being introdocued at a very young age.
Another feature which follows the British system of education is the fact that uniforms are obligatory in most schools around the island.
People may opt for the free state education but other options are also available. Malta offers reasonably priced private education as well as church schools, which are free apart from an annual donation which is expected by the school.
The education ladder starts at Kindergarten stage, where children aged 3-4 can attend completely free of charge. Obviously, this learning period is very leniant, as these young kids learn through games, colours and fun activities.
After kindergarten, children will progress to primary education. Primary school is obligatory and there are a number of primary school available all over the island. primary school runs from grade 1 to grade 6 and examinations usually start in grade 5.
Next comes secondary school and runs for 5 years usually from the age of 11 to 16. Secondary school is also compulsory but the final exams at the end of the last year, namely the O levels, are optional but would be required if the student plans to further his/her education in college.
Post-secondary education follows, and this is optional for students who wish to continue studying and sit for their A-levels, which will then provide them with the opportunity to go to university. Students could opt to go to state colleges such as higher secondary school in Naxxar or Junior College in Msida or they could go to a more specific education such as MCAST which focuses on particular skillsets. Another option is joining a church school such as St. Aloysius in Balzan or De La Salle college in Birgu.
Depending on the grades acquired in the A levels, students could enter the University of Malta to follow the course they desire that will lead them to their future profession. the University of Malta is the highest form of education institution in Malta and it is the oldest university in Europe- over 400 years old. The university is completely financed by the government and the school offers both under-graduate, post-graduate degrees and PhD programmes.
The increase in foreign students relocating to Malta has led to the opening of three international schools, namely Verdala International School, QSI international School of Malta nad International Vocational College Malta. However, it is good to note that all schools in Malta teach English and most lessons are delivered in English, as the language is given plenty of importance on the island being a bilingual country.
For more information regarding education in Malta, kindly visit www.education.gov.mt