Xejn ma juri aktar kemm it-tagħlim f’Malta għadu mitqies minn lenti tradizzjonali daqs l-attitudni li nuru lejh. Ilkoll nitkellmu dwar iż-żmien li individwu jqatta’ fl-istudju bħala żmien ta’ “sagrifiċċju” meħtieġ biex forsi wara jsib impjieg tajjeb.

Bogħod mill-mentalità tagħna li s-snin ta’ tagħlim jistgħu jkunu żmien ta’ skoperta, avventura u interess għax jiftħu perspettivi ġodda u siewja fuq il-ħajja. Jekk l-adulti ma jarawx il-biċċa hekk, aħseb u ara kemm it-tfal tagħhom.

Allura kull proposta li ż-żmien ta’ tagħlim jitwal u jisssaħħaħ titqies b’suspett liema bħalu. Jaħasra se nkunu qed ngħabbu lit-tfal u lill-familji b’aktar sagrifiċċji u piżijiet! (Dan meta bħala medja, it-tul tal-ħajja tal-Maltin żdied sew.) Sadattant, ikkargaw il-metodi ta’ tagħlim intensiv li veru jagħmlu mill-edukazzjoni fabrika tal-eżamijiet.

Neħtieġu kampanja qawwija ta’ relazzjonijiet publiċi li tisħaq fuq il-gost li t-tagħlim minnu nnifsu jista’ jipprovdi.

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F’waqtha

Il-mira li l-gvern se jagħti lill-baġit tas-sena d-dieħla billi jgħin l-aktar lill-anzjani u lis-saffi “ta’ taħt” tal-poplu hi ammirevoli. Ġiet f’waqtha.

Naqbel mija fil-mija mal-punt li qabel gvern jista’ jqassam il-ġid, irid jiżgura li qed jinħoloq. Naqbel ukoll li jrid jiġi żgurat li kull benefiċċju soċjali, ġdid jew qadim, se jibqa’ sostenibbli.

Dawn il-kunsiderazzjonijiet madankollu m’għandhomx jintużaw bħala skuża biex id-diżugwaljanza soċjali titħalla tinxtered. Aktar u aktar f’soċjetà fejn is-servizzi jingħataw dejjem priorità akbar fil-kejl ta’ kif jitqassam il-ġid maħluq.

Jidher li l-gvern qies din il-problema u se jaffaċċjaha.

Il-ministru tal-finanzi stqarr li l-klassijiet tan-nofs huma l-mutur tal-ħolqien tal-ġid. Veru, għandhom rwol importanti f’dan.

Biss, nissuspetta li ekonomija “tas-servizzi” tibdel il-livelli tal-prezzijiet u l-pagi fir-rabtiet ta’ bejniethom, b’mod li l-kontribut ekonomiku mogħti mis-saffi soċjali bi dħul baxx jispiċċa mkejjel bin-nieqes.

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Ġermaniżi kontra Griegi?

Ħabib li għandu ħafna għal qalbu l-kultura Ġermaniża u l-Griega, ġie jilmenta dwar kif ir-relazzjonijiet bejn Ġermaniżi u Griegi tħallew jiġu avvelenati fl-aħħar snin. Fil-fatt matul is-sekli, saħaq, iż-żewġ naħat urew apprezzament u ammirazzjoni kbar lejn xulxin.

Biex isostni l-punt tiegħu wrieni poeżija tal-poeta Ġermaniż Holderlin li għex bejn l-1770 u s-sena 1843. Hi dwar ix-xmara Main, imma l-ewwel Holderlin jiddeskrivi b’dettall u mħabba kemm jixtieq li jżur is-sbuħijiet tal-Greċja. Imbagħad jistqarr kif għalkemm se jkun ivvjaġġa fil-bogħod xorta mhux se jinsa s-sbuħijiet tax-xmara Ġermaniża li tatu merħba meta resaq lejha. Il-poeżija tlaqqa’ b’mod straordinarju l-imħabba għall-wirt tal-Greċja ma’ mħabba għall-istil ta’ ħajja fil-Ġermanja. Inkitbet fl-1797.

Ħabibi għandu raġun jinkazza li r-rabtiet bejn Griegi u Ġermaniżi tħassru daqstant.

 

English Version – Sacrifices?

Hardly anything shows better how education in Malta remains grounded in traditional beliefs than the attitude we display towards it. We all consider the time that an individual spends studying as a time of “sacrifice”, made necessary by the need to perhaps find a good job.

That the years spent “studying” could be a time of discovery, adventure and interest since they open new and valid perspectives about life in general, is an alien idea. If that’s how adults view the situation, the same applies to a greater extent for their children.

So any proposal to lengthen and beef up the period spent at school gives rise to widespread unease. For God forbid, that would place more sacrifices and burdens on children plus their families (even if the average age span of the Maltese population has greatly increased.) Meanwhile, intensive teaching methods have multiplied; they have truly turned the educational system into an exam factory.

Needed: a strong public relations campaign to project the joy that can be accessed via the educational experience, in and of itself.

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Timely

The government’s intention to prioritise financial support to the elderly and to strata of the population with lower income in next year’s budget is admirable. And timely.

I agree fully with the argument that before any government can distribute benefits, it needs first to ensure that wealth is being created. I agree too that it needs to ensure that all social benefits, whether longstanding or of recent origin, are sustainable.

Such considerations should not serve though as an excuse to allow social inequalities to increase. This has greater relevance in a society where the providers of services are progressively given higher priority in the allocation of shares in the wealth that is created.

It appears that the government has faced up to this problem.

The finance minister stated that the middle classes are the engine of wealth creation. True, they do have an important role in that regard.

However I suspect that in a “services” economy, price and wage relativities are altered in ways that lead to an underestimation of the economic contribution being given to wealth creation by social strata at the lower income levels.

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Germans vs Greeks?

A friend of mine who is a great admirer of the German and Greek cultures has come to complain at the way by which in recent years, relations between Germans and Greeks were allowed to deteriorate. He insists that actually over the centuries both sides were most appreciative of each other.

To emphasize the point he showed me a poem written by the German poet Holderlin, who lived between 1770 and 1843. Its subject is the German river Main, but first Holderlin describes at length his love for the beauties of Grece and his wish to visit them. Then he declares that even after having travelled to places faraway, he still would not forget the beauties of the German river, which had welcomed him as of when he first approached it. The poem brings together in an extraordinary way a love for the Greek heritage with love for the German way of life. It was written in 1797.

My friend is right to feel aggrieved that German-Greek ties have become poisoned.