Minister Evarist Bartolo MP
Saint Martin’s Institute of Higher Education Graduation Ceremony 2018
‘Good evening, thank you for your invitation to join you and celebrate the success of these graduates. I especially admire the philosophy by which I am aware this Institution is inspired, because I see you in action and follow as closely as possible how this institute operates. I attend different events and I meet and chat with many students. I think that they are the best example and show evidence of how much academics are involved in the well-being of your students. Learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, learning to live together, I think these four pillars coined by Delors are really worth following if we really want to give the best education possible for and to our students’.
‘The best test of education is preparing our young people for the real world, ultimately that is where each of them will have their final test. Certificates count, diplomas and degrees are important but ultimately what really matters is that what is contained in the paper presented today, can also illustrate that you can deal with problems, work with others, have a critical attitude and at the same time, be able to solve problems and to live in a complex democratic society. All these aspects are important and the demands of education today have increased beyond the technical or academic knowledge that we might need to get through to be able to achieve the degrees that we are reading’.
‘Even an organisation like the OECD has admitted finally that it’s not about knowledge on its own which is important. That’s why we are talking now of four dimensions of education which brings together knowledge, competence, character and learning to learn. And if there is one main objective of formal education today, it’s the ability to learn and to continue to learn. We often quote Charles Darwin about the survival of the fittest, if we read his quotation well it’s not about the survival of the fittest. Those who will survive, especially in this ever changing world, are not those who are fittest in any physical or necessarily just intellectual sense, but possess the ability to adapt, the ability to be flexible, the ability to continue to learn and morph into the demands of the new society that is changing every day’.
‘The time when we had an ordered life - education at the beginning, then work phase and finally a pension - is over. You are still in the first phase of your education, and thus far away from the third but you’ll get there eventually. Definitely today we need to keep on putting together the world of work, the world of learning and also societal needs. And one thing that I really like about Saint Martin’s is how you keep on pushing students and stretching students and making them work hard in preparation for the world of work, which I think is very important’.
‘I believe that we tend to spoil our young people when we tell them to go for the low hanging fruits and thus build a society that demands wins without any effort. There is this tendency in a small country like Malta. I am talking as a parent, as a self-critical parent now, so no offense or destructive criticism towards the parents present here, but we tend to be helicopter parents hovering around all the time over-protecting our kids. The harsh reality of the 21st century demands that we prepare our young people for a resilient attitude so I am really grateful for the work that you do here at Saint Martin’s Institute’.
‘I will take up your invitation that we work as partners, I think there is a lot to do together not only in what we’ve done in Get Qualified but also eventually when we start implementing the work base learning and apprenticeship Act where Saint Martin’s Institute will be given the same status as any other public or private institution in Malta. We hope to support students as well as the Institute to get students to be exposed to the world of work and to have that accredited, as well’.
‘Changes will continue because we are preparing our young people for what today we can call the software economy with the changes that are happening through artificial intelligence, robotics and block chain. The complex challenges of living in a sustainable world where we have to take care of our planet to make sure that our future generations have a planet in which they can live because this cannot be taken for granted’.
‘I have no hesitation to say that Saint Martin’s is doing this and I will continue to follow your progress, so thank you for inviting me to be here with you to celebrate, congratulations to the graduates, thank you to the parents for supporting them and thanks to the University of London and Saint Martin’s Institute for working together to make this education experience a very valid one and to give our young people a very good future’.
Thank you very much.
Minister Evarist Bartolo MP
Minister of Education & Employment