5. Arts and cultural education
Last update: February, 2015
The government runs part-time evening arts schools for drama, art and music in Malta and Gozo. These classes often merge the notion of semi-professional arts training and life-long learning. The debate concerning a full-time arts training academy has been resurfacing for some time, however no concrete action has been taken on the matter. The latest arts education project is linked to an Academy of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra to offer training opportunities for young musicians who can eventually join the Orchestra. The Academy is envisaged to be established in 2015.
Government has also flagged the possibility of an Arts College, equivalent to the Sports College that offers secondary school students specialised vocational training in specific disciplines.
Last update: February, 2015
The National Curriculum Conference (2000) identified a series of measures which are negatively affecting creativity in the Maltese educational system such as: a rigid timetable, formal class-management protocol, syllabus overload, discouragement of students from taking ownership of learning, emphasis on competition and external rewards and teachers' own limitations in the creative sector.
Since then, the national curriculum has set standards which legitimise the creative exploration of culture:
- an experimental approach to the creative subjects should be employed in art, music, drama, movement and literature; and
- further curricula in the area of creativity should contain space for creative thinking, so as to turn experience into an exciting event.
In 2014 Education Minister Evarist Bartolo announced plans to integrate arts subjects in the early years of secondary school, causing much concern and public outcry by arts education professionals. Under the banner of "Expressive Arts", the new programme proposed that Form 1 and 2 students offers "taster" lessons in Art, Music and Drama each week, with the focus shifting on one of those three subjects rotating every three months of the scholastic year. Effectively, this meant that students will receive 10 lessons in Art, Drama and Music throughout the year.
Concern over the proposal's implications were based on the fact that it would render the time allocated to each subject negligible since students would not have enough time to absorb any of the three subjects falling under the "Expressive Arts" banner in an effective way. A working group has been set up to review the current curriculum and propose new programmes.
Previous attempts to develop a comprehensive arts education programme include the introduction in 2002 of "creativity teachers" with the aim of accelerating artistic development in schools. In 2003, a report was submitted to the Ministry of Education, proposing the setting up of a Directorate to cater for cultural education in state, private, independent and Church schools.
School visits related to culture and creativity
Research carried out by the Creative Economy Working Group provides an overview of the level of exposure students have to cultural and creative sectors. The responses from schools (covering 8 out of the 10 colleges) were grouped under the four categories of the cultural and creative industries and are summarised below.
Heritage is the most popular activity for school visits overall. Heritage includes museums, cultural, historical, and archaeological sites, and crafts.
In Secondary Schools, on average every student went on a heritage-related visit during the surveyed academic year. In Primary, on average, all students went on a heritage-related visit, and 6 out of 10 went on a second visit. In fact, cultural sites, museums and other heritage-related visits are the most popular visits among all the sub-categories of cultural and creative activities visited by school groups. Crafts are the least popular in the heritage area. Crafts-related visits are relatively more popular in Primary schools with around a visit for 3 in every 10 students. Only 1 in every 10 students went on such visits in Secondary schools. Visits were related to activities such as glass-blowing, ceramics, pottery, exhibition of cribs, and carnival-festivity and mask-making, among others.
Arts are the second most popular area of activity visited by schools. In Primary, 8 in every 10 students went on an arts-related visit; whilst in Secondary schools 6 in every 10 students did so. The most frequent are theatre-related visits, attended by 5 in every 10 Secondary students and 7 in every 10 Primary students.
Media related visits at Secondary
and Primary levels were attended by 5 and 7 in every 10 students
respectively, making this the third most popular activity for schools.
However, when excluding visits to the cinema for simply watching films, Film, TV & Radio-related visits are sparse, averaging between 0 and 1 in every 10 students in both Secondary and Primary.
Creative Business Services (CBS): This is the least visited area of activity by schools. On average, 2 in every 10 students went on a CBS-related visit in Secondary school, whilst the number of visits in primary level rounds up to zero.
The most active Year: In Secondary, Form 4 classes made the highest number of visits related to the creative economy, with an average of 3 visits. In Primary, Years 5 and 6 made the highest number of visits with an average of 4 visits each.
Last update: February, 2015
In July 2012, the University of Malta set up the School of Performing Arts with the aim to bring together the disciplines of Dance Studies, Music Studies and Theatre Studies, and to provide a sound base for the development of new programmes of study together with more specialised fields of research. The School highlights the performance dimension of the respective disciplines, integrating the interplay between the technical and artistic aspects of performance and the ability to reflect critically on performance within an array of theoretical contexts in contemporary and historical practice
The Art and Design Institute within the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology is heavily investing in new technology for television production training and post-production. It has also received accreditation for degree courses in 3D Design and Graphic Design. In 2010 accreditation also started for an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts. This is the first fine arts degree to be awarded by a Higher Education institute in Malta.
Table 19: Student Qualifications in Cultural and Creative subjects/disciplines
|SEC||SEC03 Art||566||438||509||497||515||467||2 992|
|SEC07 Classical Culture||0||1||0||0||1||1||3|
|SEC09 Computer Studies||1 233||1 103||1 070||955||1 058||1 125||6 544|
|SEC12 English Literature||1 717||1 748||1 788||1 787||1 853||1 836||10 729|
|SEC29 Graph. Comm.||400||546||353||448||470||492||2 709|
|SEC30 Textiles & Design||20||25||23||18||21||14||121|
|SEC33 Design & Technology||-||-||-||19||57||82||158|
|Total O - Level||4 049||3 988||3 900||3 883||4 115||4 100||24 035|
|MATSEC Intermediate||IM04 Art||51||48||35||34||35||38||241|
|IM09 Eng. Draw. & Graph. Comm.||42||77||81||90||70||61||421|
|IM19 Info. Tech.||346||332||305||301||275||275||1 834|
|IM32 SoK||2 042||2 194||2 194||2 003||2 180||1 985||12 598|
|Total Intermediate - Level||2 655||2 849||2 855||2 617||2 761||2 532||16 269|
|MATSEC A-Levels||AM04 Art||77||80||97||86||77||82||499|
|AM07 Computing||205||216||183||178||184||199||1 165|
|AM15 Graph. Comm.||19||9||18||17||19||18||100|
|AM19 Info. Tech.||73||78||60||85||84||109||489|
|Total A - Level||473||489||457||465||472||524||2 880|
|MCAST||Arts & Design||119||136||139||144||144||123||805|
|Design & Interiors||0||0||0||0||0||21||21|
|Total in MCAST||158||188||192||206||230||279||1 253|
University of Malta|
(selected main related Subjects)
|Faculty of Arts||-||62||92||96||90||132||472|
|Faculty for the Built Environment / Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering||-||59||38||36||51||65||249|
|Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of ICT||-||0||0||18||5||45||68|
|Other related Institutes and Centres||-||126||145||123||91||94||579|
|TOTAL Graduates||277||300||308||272||355||1 512|
Source: National Statistics Malta.
Last update: February, 2015
A survey among 188 schools and tutors teaching performing arts indicated that 9 135 students received a form of instruction during the academic year 2012-2013.
Survey results indicated that 150 respondents (schools and private tutors) offered tuition to 50 students or less, while the remaining 38 had the possibility of accommodating more than 50 pupils. Some institutions were specialised in one discipline, while others offered a more holistic approach through a combination of the three main forms of performing arts: drama, dance and music. The majority of musical institutions were relatively small, with 116 units (out of 120) enrolling not more than 50 students during the academic year 2012-2013. On the other hand, dance and drama schools had a more even distribution.
A total of 9 135 students were enrolled, with dancers covering 50.1%, followed by 25.2 and 24.7% in music and drama respectively. In addition, 6 956 were female students, accounting for 76.1% of the total. The overall majority of students were under 17 years of age. Although performing art classes are generally considered as an extra-curricular activity, 5 415 students sat examinations. Full-time employees accounted for 17.4% of the total, compared to 63.9% for part-time employment. In addition, voluntary workers stood at 18.7%.
Please find the available information on this subject in 5.3.