The Education Act - Chapter 327 of the Laws of Malta - lays down the principles underlying Malta’s educational system and policy. The overarching aim of the Act is the education of all generations. It establishes the structures and actors which formulate and implement educational policy for the benefit of our children, youths and Maltese society at large. It lays down the basic right of every Maltese citizen to receive education and instruction, the obligations of the State to ensure the existence and accessibility of schools and other institutions of learning, and the rights and duties of parents in relation to their children’s education including the right of parents to send their children to the school of their choice. Furthermore, the Education Act establishes the principles underpinning the Government’s role in the provision of education in Malta, the decision making structures in this field, together with many other important issues such as the regulation of the teaching profession and the functioning of all schools and colleges including church schools and independent schools. All these issues have a direct impact on the quality of our educational system and the manner in which education is actually delivered. The Act also establishes and regulates the University of Malta, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and other entities in the educational sector such as the National Commission for Further and Higher Education.
The Education Act has served our country well and much has been achieved. However, it is important to ensure that it is kept up to date to reflect the new challenges, problems and opportunities of today’s world. It is essential that the Act continues to provide the operational structures required to address weaknesses and deficiencies in the educational systems which it sets up and regulates, and to ensure that it is fully capable of delivering Malta’s educational policy. In particular, it is important to ensure that all the necessary legal principles and structures are in place to implement the Malta Education Strategy for the next ten years (2014 - 2024). This strategy will have a number of important objectives including the following: improving the quality and effectiveness of our country’s education, ensuring a fairer, more inclusive and more democratic educational system, increasing the level of student achievement across all levels, and improving the transition from early childhood to primary, secondary, vocational and tertiary education. It will also aim at establishing greater synergy between all institutions and departments within the Ministry for Education and Employment, central Government and other Ministries, the European Union and at global level, as well between education, the economy and civil society.