There is a state primary school in every town and village in Malta. The students then proceed into lyceums and secondary schools. After three years of secondary education, students can opt to continue with their studies or to join a trade school. However most continue with secondary school and work towards the Matriculation Secondary Education Certificate (MATSEC).
On completion of the compulsory school years, students are encouraged to choose from about fifty different vocational and academic courses in the post secondary sectors, from tourism to hairdressing. Although public education is free, students are also given financial help from the government during their studies.
Private schools in Malta
Along with state schools in Malta, there is the option of private/independent schools. There are private schools that range from kindergarten to secondary schools. As the cost of living in Malta is relatively low, tuition and boarding fees are reasonably priced.
Parents also have the option of sending their children to religious schools that generally split up boys and girls. These schools are substantially subsidised by the government and tuition is free.
The Verdala International School is situated in the district of Pembroke near Valletta. It was established thirty two years ago to serve the expatriate community in Malta. The school runs the International Primary Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Verdala International School is fully accredited as a US school by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, running courses from kindergarten to grade 12. Entry into the school requires a Standardised Admission test (SAT) which is used in all US colleges.
QSI International School of Malta is located in the heart of Malta and was established in 2007. QSI is also accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The primary purpose of this school is to provide children in Malta with an international education if they require it.