Re: eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT

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  • Subject: Re: eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT
  • From: Antoine Gambin
  • Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 5:28:35 +0200

On Mon, 26 Aug 2002 11:50:35 +0200 "Ray Muscat" wrote:
> Juan,
> I like your contribution. Indeed, our current education system is
> failing. Instead of trying to nurture the innovative and inquisitive
> elements of our children, the system is filtering the few
> academically gifted students from the many practical (and possibly
> those that do think out of the box) students. The system is preparing
> students to University, which is itself not entrepreneurial, leading
> to graduates that are indeed very low on creativity. On the other
> hand, given the opportunity (such as Young Enterprise), our
> youngsters prove to all that they can indeed be creative.
> Ray Muscat
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Juan Borg Manduca []
> Sent: 22 August 2002 14:17
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: Re: eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT
> I'd like to add to this suggestion (see email from Leonard Bezzina
> below) because it particularly interests me.
> Since I have been involved in formative assessments for some time
> now, an area worth pursuing is how to develop a system which will
> evolve the present system of education (exam based) into one which
> will take into consideration the special needs of 'individual' students.
> In fact, the National Minimum Curriculum makes reference to
> introducing formative assessments as part of a school's delivery
> mechanism.
> In many cases, exams are actually detrimental to our children, and
> instead of achieving the desired target of 'educating' our children,
> are actually harming them by focusing on getting the students
> 'through' exams.
> The major problem with today's system is that it does the exact
> opposite of what such a system is supposed to do ie instead of the
> system being made to fit the student, the student is being forced to
> fit the system.
> I would categorise students into three main groups, a) bookworm, b)
> learning by observation, c) learning by 'hands-on'.
> The present system caters for only the bookworm (as we all know), and
> all other students end up falling through the net, and in most cases
> being branded as failures. This branding of students occurs at as
> early an age as 5-6 years.
> The advent of ICT presents us with a unique opportunity to design a
> case study, eg take the syllabus of one particular subject in one
> particular year and present the same syallabus in three different
> formats to suit all groups of students (ie one format will address
> the bookworm and may not differ considerably from today's
> presentation method, but the other two would of course ensure that
> the student learns by using techniques customised to that particular
> group). The use of computers will be the fulcrum of delivery of
> curriculum.
> Of course, proper tests are to be designed in order to be able to
> categorise students properly.
> In this manner, one could use this case study on a group of students
> from a particular school (willing to participate), and results
> (statistics) could then be used and compared in order to gauge
> success (or failure) of the project.
> These are just my thoughts..........
> Juan
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Leonard Bezzina <>
> To: [email protected]
> Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2002 1:18 PM
> Subject: Re: eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT
> Dear Jennifer,
> I would like to suggest the following scenario:
> Malta would become a centre of excellence in ICT in education
> (practice and theory). This implies a situation where all teachers
> are making the best possible use of ICT in order to enhance teaching
> and learning in all areas of the curriculum and at all levels of our
> education system (primary, secondary, post-secondary and tertiary).
> This vision includes making most of the communication capabilities of
> current and future technology in order to promote learning at a
> distance and at all times of the day (e-learning) and at facilitating
> communication between parents/guardians and the school. It also
> implies a situation where Malta develops innovative ways of making
> use of ICT in our classrooms. Once such a vision is in place we can
> become a Mediteranean centre of excellence in teacher education in
> this area. We can then offer appropriate University level courses
> mainly through distance learning.
> Leonard Bezzina
> Jennifer Cassingena Harper wrote:
> Dear Colleagues, We would like to initiate an on-line discussion
> on alternative futures for Malta in ICT. We would like you to send us
> up to ten different scenario themes for Malta in ICT. These can be
> scenario themes focused on:
> * specific niche areas (e.g. Malta as an e-learning hub)
> * or ICT-enabled initiatives (e.g. on-line gambling)
> * or telecomms-related initiatives
> * or any other ideas in general !!
> Ideally, this exercise should not involve too much time - maximum
> 30 minutes - just jot down what comes immediately to mind. So send us
> your feedback if possible by Thursday 22 August.Looking forward to
> hearing from you, Jennifer
> ___________Dr. Jennifer
> Cassingena Harper
> Head, Policy Unit,
> Malta Council for Science and Technology
> Villa Bighi, Bighi, Kalkara CSP 11, Malta
> email: [email protected] http://www.mcst.org.mt
> direct dial-in: +356 23602125
> tel. +356 21 660340 (fax) +356 21 660341
> ___________
> +++++++++++++++
> Dr Leonard Bezzina
> Department of Mathematics, Science and Technical Education
> Faculty of Education
> University of Malta
> Msida MSD 06
> Malta
> E-mail address: [email protected]
> Telephone number: 3290 2404
> +++++++++++++++
I agree with what Ray is saying about the fact that the system works at
preparing students for University but isn't the role of institutions like
ITS and MCAST that of creating alternative avenues towards a rewarding
career ? I am under the impression that the ITS is doing a good job in
preparing students with hands on experience. MCAST maybe has not been
around enough for us to start watching the benefits of its existence.
Maybe Mr Borg Manduca can illuminate us as to what kind of reaction the
students and maybe the industries are having to this important role MCAST
will be playing in the future.
If I remember correctly, in the expert panel meeting of the 23rd of
August it was said the industry should have a say in what the University
should be producing so that we do not end up with a massive surplus in
the traditional professions and a shortage in what the industry of the
future really needs. There is a delicate balance that has to be struck
here. I am sure we all remember that a couple of decades ago the numerus
clausus for entry into University was justified by this very reason and
other factions were saying it was not just that people who want to follow
various disciplines are refused the opportunity to do so.
Private industry has a new responsibility to create opportunities for
students who would like to follow a career which the industry requires.
University will obviously not be the sole provider of opportunities to
become a professional. The University population will not be as massive
as it is today and there will be a shift to institutes like MCAST and
other training institutions. These institutions will provide
qualifications which encourage follow up by other qualifications or other
follow-up-modules to keep the graduate up to date with the fast
development in the field of ICT which is the focus of this panel. This
will create a generation of individuals who work in private industry and
who are in constant update. At the same time, although it might be slower
in Malta's case due to geographical reasons, one must not omit the
mobility factor wherein qualifications must be aimed at creating that
additional opportunity for individuals. Today, a qualification in the
field of ICT is not just a ticket to a job but to a career. There have
been other contributions in this panel wherein one spoke of brain drain
etc. In a field which has nothing to do with ICT, TEFL (Teaching English
as a Foreign Language), up till some months ago teachers went for a short
course prescribed by the Department of Education and one could obtain a
temporary warrant and the story stopped there. Down the line there was
one qualification in the field which enabled teachers to follow up this
course outside University and that enabled teachers to practice the
profession abroad. This new qualification (CELTA) was held once a year
and was expensive. Now, different schools are running courses under the
supervision of foreign boards for cheaper fees and with more frequency
throughout the year.
This is the way forward and new opportunities in ICT will involve
lifelong update for professionals in the field and new opportunities at
seeking opportunities elsewhere. These individuals who go are replaced by
others who come into our industry with other backgrounds and ideas and
Malta can benefit from this exchange.
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sender : Antoine Gambin
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    • Re: eForesee malta-ict: Scenarios for Malta in ICT
      • From: Juan Borg Manduca

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