Current Projects

 

Overview of the projects currently being undertaken by the Research Unit at the DRLLE


Studies into Children’s Wellbeing and Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC)

The Ministry for Education and Sport and the Ministry for Health are conducting 2 national studies about children’s wellbeing, namely the Children’s Wellbeing Study and the Health Behaviour of School-aged Children. The latter is a World Health Organization collaborative cross-national study that collects data from 11, 13 and 15 year old children every 4 years. The 2 studies are being conducted together because of the common topic.


The project aims to:

Gain insight into our children’s health and wellbeing, comprehend important determinants of health, and inform policy and practice to better the lives of young people. 


Data Collection:

This study is being conducted at middle and secondary state, church, and independent schools, each child is being provided a tablet to complete an 80-minute anonymous questionnaire in Maltese or in English.

 

Project timeframe: January 2022 – December 2024


Publications from this research project:

Vassallo, J., (2024) Methodology used in Malta's 2022 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study (HBSC)

Available here Methodology used in Malta's 2022 HBSC.pdf​



Migrant Students in the State School Sector: A Study of Experiences, Impact, Issues and Challenges

The Ministry for Education and Employment, through the Directorate for the Curriculum, Life Long Learning and Employability, is currently conducting a project on migrant students in the State school sector.


The aims of this project are:

  1. To provide a scientific, empirically-based exploration of the impact of migrant students in primary and secondary schools.
  2. To shed light on the experiences of migrant students in Malta and feed in to policy recommendations.
  3. To highlight good practices and raise awareness of the needs of this student cohort
  4. To seek to map out the experiences, impact, issues, opinions and concerns of migrant students and their parents/guardians, Maltese students and their parents/guardians, teachers of migrant students and SMTs.


This project consists of a number of focus groups and a questionnaire with the above mentioned stakeholders. This project is being undertaken under the guidance of Prof. Mark Borg.


Timeframe: 2019/20: Focus groups with Maltese and non-Maltese students their parents, teachers and with the senior management team.​


Research and Policy Documentation Centre (RPDC)

The setup of a Research and Policy Documentation Centre (RPDC) as a data and documentation archive for Ministry for Education and Employment staff.


The aim of the RPDC is:

  1. To contribute to the development of evidence-based policy and practice through facilitating the exchange of information, related to the remit of the Ministry for Education and Employment (MEDE), in a reliable and timely manner. 

Eurydice

Eurydice is a network of 40 national units based in 37 countries of the Erasmus+ programme. It showcases how education systems are organised in Europe and how they work. Malta contributes to the network via an Erasmus+ project by submitting descriptions of its national education system, studies devoted to specific topics and statistics in the field of education, which are then compiled into reports along with equivalent data from other European countries. These reports may then form the basis for policy development both at a national and European level.

Publications from this Research Project (continually updated):

National description of Malta’s Education system

Comparative reports

Interactive publications

News Items



Computational Thinking Skills among Primary Students in State Schools

Computational Thinking (CT) may be defined as a set of skills used to solve problems efficiently, providing mental tools found in the field of Computer Science. CT and its associated facets are intrinsically linked to the practice of coding, which promotes problem-solving skills such as algorithmic thinking, abstraction and debugging. In accordance with Supplementary Budgetary Measure 4.226, i.e.:

"B’għarfien tal-importanza tal-ħsieb komputazzjonali fis-soċjetà u l-ekonomiji kontemporanji, nintroduċu gradwalment is-suġġett tal-coding bħala suġġett ewlieni fl-iskejjel primarji u sekondarji",

The Research Unit, in collaboration with the Directorate for Digital Literacy and Transversal Skills, is conducting a study to assess the Computational Thinking (CT) capacities of students between the ages of 4 and 11 in 10 schools across Malta and Gozo and primary school teachers’ aptitude towards teaching Computational Thinking skills.

Data collection: Teacher aptitudes will be collected through a survey at the beginning of school year 2023/24. The CT capacities of the participating students shall be measured twice throughout school year 2023/24, i.e. in the first and third terms. In the interim period, some classrooms will be equipped with new interactive coding tools. 

Project timeframe: May 2023-May 2025


The National Reform Programme and Country-Specific Recommendations

The Research Unit conducts periodic research and consultation work, within the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation, related to the National Reform Programme (NRP) and Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs). These are both key compo​​nents of the European Union's economic governance framework, designed to promote economic stability, sustainable growth, and employment across EU member states.

National Refor
m Programme (NRP): The NRP is a document prepared by each EU member state outlining its medium-term economic and budgetary policies, structural reforms, and measures to promote growth and employment. It is submitted annually to the European Commission. The NRP allows member states to outline their economic priorities and plans, taking into account the EU's overall goals, such as the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth. The NRP covers areas like employment, innovation, education, social inclusion, and climate policies.

Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs): The CSRs are specific policy recommendations provided by the European Commission to individual member states based on an assessment of their NRP and economic performance. These recommendations are tailored to each country's situation and challenges. The CSRs cover a wide range of areas, including fiscal policy, structural reforms, labor market policies, social policies, and more. The goal is to provide targeted advice to member states to improve their economic resilience and convergence.

Overall, the NRP and CSRs play a crucial role in shaping economic policies across the EU, enhancing coordination,
stability, and sustainable growth while maintaining the principles of a common economic framework.