Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Educational initiatives in Sliema: A good year

Michael Briguglio - Local Councillor
(This article appears in Tas-Sliema magazine, December 2015)

2015 was a good year in terms of educational initiatives involving Sliema Local Council. The council has tried to reach out to people from different backgrounds so as to increase social inclusion and educational potential.  On behalf of the Council I would like to thank all educators for their work.

The storytelling initiative for kids aged between 5 and 7 is now in its fourth year. The initiative is held on Saturday mornings at the Margaret Mortimer Public Library, Blanche Huber Street, and helps encourage children to discover the wonderful world of libraries.

For the second consecutive year, a reading and writing course for kids was held in Summer. This course helps primary school children improve their skills in English and Maltese. This summer, 25 children participated in the course.

Beading, a consistently-popular course, is once again being held during the current months. This year’s course started in October and attracted 16 participants.

During the year, Sliema Local Council also held a number of talks in philosophy, art, health education, and heritage.

219 persons applied for the Sliema Lifelong Learning Courses, which are organized by the Ministry of Education with the collaboration of Sliema Local Council. Sliema council is proud that 11 courses are being held in this regard, namely: 

 -         English as a foreign language Level 2 – 25 applicants
-          English – 12 applicants
-          English as a foreign language level 1 – 22 applicants
-          English conversation – 24 applicants
-          French – 20 applicants
-          Health Wellbeing and successful Ageing – 16 applicants
-          Lace Making (open class) – 24 applicants
-          Maltese as a foreign language Level 1 – 24 applicants
-          Maltese as a foreign language Level 2 – 20 applicants
-          Spanish level 1 – 20 applicants
-          Spanish level 2 – 12 applicants

Sliema Council has also had very positive feedback for fitness classes (yoga and pilates), which are held in conjunction with SkolaSport.  

Sliema Local Council also proposed some other courses, which unfortunately did not attract a significant number of applicants. We hope that such courses will attract more interest in the future.

The Local Council is currently looking into new initiatives, and we welcome feedback from the public in this regard.  Indeed, when deciding on which courses to offer, two main considerations include public demand as well as success of previous courses.

We also look into the social and educational priorities of our locality. In this regard, Sliema Council is giving increased importance to the concepts of social inclusion and integration, and we are looking into possibilities of more courses which emphasize such concepts, particularly since Sliema is a locality characterised by much diversity.

I therefore invite those interested to send me any feedback or proposals regarding the possibility of new courses. Feedback on courses currently in place and queries related to education are also most welcome.

Best wishes for the festive season.

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