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Title: A village school in Malta : Mosta primary school 1840-1940
Other Titles: Yesterday's schools : readings in Maltese educational history
Authors: Cassar, George
Keywords: Education -- Malta -- History
Education -- Malta -- Case studies
Education, Primary -- Malta -- Mosta
Comparative education
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Xirocco Publishing
Citation: Cassar, G. (2017). A village school in Malta : Mosta primary school 1840-1940. In R. G. Sultana (Eds.), Yesterday's schools : readings in Maltese educational history (pp. 183-198). Malta: Xirocco Publishing.
Abstract: Till the British took over Malta in 1800, the education system was in a very poor state. There were no schools in the majority of the larger villages, let alone in the smaller ones such as Mosta. Even if there had been any schools, it would have been quite difficult for the majority of Maltese families to send their children to such places due to the general poverty of the populace as a whole. For the affluent the choice was wider. Children from the wealthier families could enjoy a personalised education by engaging a private, personal tutor in their own home. Other well-todo families enrolled their children in small private schools generally run by foreign teachers. It is known that between 1800 and 1840 there were no less than 39 private schools in Malta. It was only around 1819 that the first schools for the common people were set up. These were under the auspices of the Normal Schools Society, a philanthropic organisation that had schools in such large or important localities as Valletta, Senglea and Zejtun. Needless to say smaller villages were not considered as yet. Thus it was no wonder that one of the persons appearing before the Royal Commission at work in Malta in 1836 stated, for example, that there were barely fifty people in the village of Mosta who could read out of a population of 3,734. It was this Royal Commission that set the ball rolling in the direction of popular education and primed the more active involvement of the local Government Authorities in the process. With the setting up of a Committee of Management, the first boys’ schools in Malta were opened in Mdina, Zejtun, Zurrieq, Zebbug and Lija. Each of these schools was to serve as a centre for the surrounding villages. Therefore, with the establishment of the Lija Primary Schools (for boys and girls) in May 1837, Mosta, Balzan, Attard, Birkirkara, Naxxar and Gharghur could now say that they had a school. However, students from Mosta attending the Lija centre were very few. This could be expected at a time when no law existed which obliged children to attend and, besides, the distance from Mosta to Lija was quite long to walk every day.
ISBN: 9789995711788
Appears in Collections:Yesterday's schools : readings in Maltese educational history

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