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Remembering schooldays in Malta in the 1950s and 1960s


We all have strong memories of our first few days at primary school in Malta, although nowadays most children tend to go to pre-school, so it is not such a shock to the system for them as it was for the children of the 1950s and 1960s.

Back then there were no nurseries, so for most children just turning five years old, their first day at school was the first time they had been on their own, away from home.

Most mothers in Malta did not work outside the home, so for many children this was also the first time they had been apart from their mums.

Consequently, the first day of school was usually a very tearful event for both child and parent.

Girls who liked football or boys who liked cooking might not have liked the 1950s and 1960s.

Attitudes about what girls and boys should like were still rather old fashioned and school lessons were strictly divided into classes of girls or boys.

In most schools, girls were expected to like sewing, cooking and domestic chores and were even taught how to iron clothes. Boys were encouraged to learn woodwork and technical drawing.

Children in primary schools would recite morning prayers and learn things like the ‘times table’ by heart. There were no calculators or computers to help work things out. And in a lot of schools teachers still wore big black cloaks.

Our archive film footage shows students nervously waiting for their exam results in 1966 as well as playground scenes in Qrendi in 1968.

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