Education System in Malta

The Directorate of Educational Services in Malta has laid down the following objectives to ensure that students receive state-of-the art quality education via the effective and efficient operation and delivery of services to the Colleges State schools within an established framework of decentralisation and autonomy.

  • To support and encourage schools and Colleges in the promotion of school library services and cultural activities within schools.
  • To ensure the provision of effective services of counselors, social workers, psychologists and other professional persons according to the needs of students and their families in collaboration with the Colleges.
  • To ensure and to provide the resources required for inclusive and special educational programmes and for other schemes related to individual educational needs in conjunction with Colleges and schools.
  • To ensure the supply and the coordination of vocational and career guidance services, including the implementation of programmes aimed at achieving improved school-workplace correlation and assist in the transition stages, including those from school to work.
  • To ensure the provision of services required to deal effectively with issues of good conduct and discipline, of child abuse, of bullying and of drug abuse.
  • To promote the physical and mental health of students through health information and promotion, medical screening services and healthy life-style programmes.
  • To support the Colleges in the organization of special initiatives and projects.
  • To cooperate with local and foreign institutions, and encourage and facilitate a better participation in programmes, scholarships, and the international exchange of students and personnel, particularly in the institutions and programmes of the European Union.

Due to Malta being a past British colony, Maltese state schools are based on the British educational system. All children between 4 and 16 years old have the right to free education in all state schools, irrespective of sex, age or belief. The standard of education in Malta is very high and exams are introduced at an early stage. Some schools still enforce a separation between boys and girls schools while some other schools are mixed.

In Malta schools are divided into two categories: state schools or private schools.

State schools

These schools provide free education to all students attending and are located in all main towns around Malta and Gozo. Apart from English language lessons, all the lessons are taught in Maltese. Free transportation is also provided as well as books and other material.

Private schools

Private schools which are regulated by the Ministry of Education can be subdivided into two categories: Church schools which belong to the Catholic Church and Independent International schools which mostly cater for international students. Both types of school lessons are thought in English. The only difference that there is in these types of schools is that parents whose children attend an independent school have to pay for the tuition however parents whose children attend a church school pay a yearly fixed donation to make up for shortfalls. Any other expense like books, transport and school uniform is paid by the parents in both educational facilities. Both schooling systems offer education from as young as 4 up until the compulsory age of 16.

Post -Secondary Education

As students turn 16 they can go to the Sixth Form which is spread over two years up until the age of 18. This stage is in preparation for the students to go to University and therefore they are prepared to sit for their A-levels which are required to get into University. The students can opt to go to MCAST (skills school), Junior College (A level preparation) and Higher Secondary School which is for students who did less well in their final exams in Secondary Education.

University of Malta

After having successfully completed their A-levels the students are free to further their education at the University of Malta or MCAST. The usual age when students start University is that of 18 years and graduation takes place depending on how long the course undertaken is. The university is the highest education in the Maltese educational system and is also the oldest university in Europe being over 400 years old. The university offers undergraduate and post-graduate level degrees and is entirely financed by the Maltese government. Courses of studies last between 1 and 6 years with also the possibility of undertaking a PhD program.