Professor Horace Caesar Roger Vella, who lectured at the University of Zimbabwe for 10 and a half years, explains why the Maltese should take the Classics more seriously. From RogueClassicism:
..It is important, that in the first two years some very basic elements of Latin and Ancient Greek have already been presented to the students, such as the Greek alphabet and Latin maxims. Obviously, the teachers of these subjects need to be qualified in Classics, and not in History.
It would be interesting if this Classical Culture and Civilisation component also included exposure to Arabic culture. In the same way bread and water are necessary for our daily life so is culture. It’s unfortunate that all aspects of education are becoming geared towards getting a job rather than towards knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Sadly, the Department of Education has never consulted me about anything that has to do with the study of the Classics in schools..
Lately some books have been translated into Latin and Ancient Greek. For example there now is Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis, its Ancient Greek equivalent and Alicia in Terra Mirabili; while the website Nuntii Latini presents current news in Latin. Do you think these publications help garner more publicity and interest?
In particular for younger students, these books are very inviting and encourage children to study Latin further. I would also like to see more books in school libraries that deal with mythology and Classical History, in Maltese or in English. These books can be about daily life in Roman times or the eruption of the Vesuvius. Anybody who teaches Classics in Maltese is a pioneer. Personally I have translated into Maltese and I am working on a list of proper names from the Classical World and their equivalent in Maltese..
My last point is that sadly Malta is considered a very poor nation culture wise. We are buried in history and culture yet many Maltese do not know about their heritage. Tourism is one of Malta’s biggest income generators, so if the people are educated more about their heritage they can interact better with the tourists offering information about sites rather than only offering quizzical looks.