EmpowerEDUC Awards Malta: Inspiring Educational Excellence

Publication date: April 30, 2024

Step into a vibrant ceremony hall, where excitement fills the air and anticipation is palpable. It’s the EmpowerEDUC Awards, held on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023, in Malta. This event is more than just a gathering—it’s a celebration of innovation and dedication in education, organised by leading teachers Natalie Lombardi Calleja and Roberta Trapani Maggi, Heads of Department for Digital Literacy and Transversal Skills within the Curriculum Department (Secretariat for Catholic Education).

Recognition of Educators’ Excellence

Organised by the Secretariat for Catholic Education in collaboration with eSkills Malta Foundation, the EmpowerEDUC Awards honours educators who have gone above and beyond in integrating coding and computational thinking into their lessons and classrooms. The event was filled with recognition and applause as winners were announced in categories such as Best Whole School Outstanding Coding Practices Award (Primary), Outstanding Newcomer to EU Code Week Award (Primary and Secondary), and the Best Innovative Girls in Tech Coding Initiative Award (Secondary).

Motivation and participation

These awards served as a strong motivator for teachers to be innovative and primary schools led the way, with 70 educators developing professionally through the rigorous application process. The main aim of the EmpowerEDUC Awards was to incentivise educators to take ownership in the EU Code Week process. In fact, these awards served as a strong motivator for teachers to be innovative, refine teaching practices and organise cross-curricular activities where learners are actively involved in developing their computational thinking and coding skills. Considering that 1/3 of all students in compulsory schooling in Malta attend Church Schools, the high proportion of Code Week applicants from the sector was remarkable. A total of 97 initiatives were registered across six categories from 27 Church Schools. This dedication contributed to 38% of the total registered activities from Malta during the EU Code Week 2023 edition.

The ceremony kicked off with inspiring words from Mr. Tommaso Dalla Vecchia, the Development and Advocacy Manager at European Schoolnet and EU Code Week representative from Brussels. Then, following the speeches, the awards were presented, highlighting the exceptional work of educators and students alike. Together with a certificate, the awardees and the schools were also presented with tokens and vouchers from distinguished robot suppliers in Malta. A certificate of participation was also given to every participant.

Encouraging Innovation and Opportunity

None of this would have been possible without the support of the event’s sponsors, whose contributions were integral to its success. Their generosity and commitment to education made the EmpowerEDUC Awards a reality. Special thanks goes to the Directors at the Secretariat for Catholic Education, Mr. Carm Cachia, Chief Administrator at eSkills Malta Foundation, EU Code Week Malta Ambassador Ms. Bernardette Zerafa, , and EU Code Week Edu Coordinator Mr. James Callus, for their support and invaluable contribution.

In conclusion, the EmpowerEDUC Awards, acknowledged educators’ efforts through awards which served as a morale boost, particularly in times of educator demotivation. Thus, as we continue to support and celebrate their efforts, we pave the way for a brighter future filled with innovation and opportunity.

More details can be found at: https://www.csm.edu.mt/empowereduc-recognising-excellencein-eu-code-week-2023/