The VCE status of Maltese is at risk. If schools do not present a minimum of 15 students for the 2011 Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) exam, Maltese will be gradually removed from the list of languages offered at that level by the Australian Education Department.
This was confirmed by keynote speaker Mr Frank Merlino, the Principal of the Victorian School of Languages, at a Professional Development Seminar held on the weekend of 25-26 September 2010 by the Federation of Maltese Language Schools (FMLS) at the Maltese Community Centre in Parkville.
Mr Merlino spoke about the issue of the small candidature taking up Maltese at senior levels and encouraged the Maltese schools to enrol more students to undertake the National Maltese Continuers examination, offered by the Board of Studies of Victoria. The Seminar was attended by delegates, administrators and teachers from the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland.
At its monthly meeting held on 6 October 2010, the MCCV Council discussed this issue and urged the Maltese community in Victoria to provide its support in order to ensure that the hard-earned accreditation of the Maltese language as a VCE subject is maintained for our future generations. A recruitment drive aimed at main stream schools is being initiated with the assistance of the MCCV Maltese Language Classes.
To boost the student numbers, adults students interested in learning Maltese are also encouraged to enrol in the subject. Taylors Lakes Secondary College is offering VCE Maltese Language Classes for adults. Interested students should contact Marisa Spiteri by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0431 067 075.
To assist in attracting students to sit for the Board of Studies exam next year, the High Commission of Malta announced on 29 September that a one-off stipend of $150 will be available to individual students sitting for VCE/HSC/SACE in 2011. Further information on the stipend may be obtained from Malta High Commission 38 Culgoa Circuit, O’Malley ACT 2606 – Tel (02) 6290 1847 or email email@example.com.