Home Economists in Malta and internationally continue to promote healthy, sustainable living.
As Home Economists around the world celebrate World Home Economics Day on March 21st, their passion for the Home Economics vision of promoting individual, family and community wellbeing is holding strong and has been revitalised in the wake of an increasing recognition of the value of their discipline.
Prof. Suzanne Piscopo and Dr Karen Mugliett are just back from the 15th Canadian Home Economics (HE) Symposium in Vancouver where they spoke about Home Economics teaching in Malta – from the work of the Home Economics Seminar Centre with Primary and Secondary students and their parents, to HE as a compulsory school subject in Secondary schools, for all genders, and as an area of specialisation in senior Secondary years, Post-Secondary level and at University. They explained how the first cohort of the new Bachelor of Science in Home Economics will graduate at the end of this year. Some graduates will continue to do a Masters in Teaching and Learning in Home Economics or in a Vocational Subject such as Fashion and Textiles, Hospitality or Health and Social Care. Others may pursue further studies or perhaps seek employment in different sectors. Their course placements with government entities, NGOs and businesses in the fields of hospitality, child care, elderly care, textiles and fashion retail and eco-tourism, among others, have helped in publicising what Home Economics is all about and paving the way for potential job opportunities.
Indeed, at the Canadian meeting Prof. Piscopo and Dr Mugliett also updated the delegates on what has been happening in Malta when it comes to the role of Home Economics in action and prevention to facilitate wellbeing, as well as the role of modern and potential technology in home management and in teaching the subject.
Clearly, the theme of sustainability has been harnessed both locally and abroad by Home Economists. HE students at different levels not only learn about their role in sustainable development and sustainable consumption, but also critically assess practices and policies and take action to promote sustainable living. In 2018 and 2019, B.Sc. (Hons) HE university students were involved in teaching about healthier lifestyles to children attending a Football Nursey, with sessions even involving hands-on healthy snack preparation. Others delivered presentations to clients and families at Dar Kenn Għal Saħħtek on topics ranging from time management, to budgeting, to eating the Mediterranean Diet way. And other students worked under the leadership of Dr Lorraine Portelli to organise a campaign at the UM campus highlighting creativity and sustainability in home textiles and fashion.
Like their international counterparts, Maltese Home Economics faculty, graduates and students continually strive to bring the message of sustainable healthy living to different groups. Through talks for parents at schools on healthy eating on a budget and using leftovers, through TV and radio interviews about sustainable diets and saving energy and water, and through community courses on detoxifying your home and the Għaqal id-dar, Ħajja Aħjar sustainable living courses, different consumers of different age groups are encouraged and empowered to become even more critical, smart and responsible citizens.
Although well over 100 years have passed since Home Economics was formalised as a school and University discipline, the subject is alive and thriving as it continues to evolve to meet current and future individual, familial and societal needs.
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