Headed by Minister Owen Bonnici, the Ministry for Research, Innovation and Coordination of Post-Covid-19 Strategy, has Malta’s future in its hands. It took a pandemic to disrupt our economic model (which was never sustainable long term), and give rise to this ministry, and there’s no going back now. Nor should we think that’s a bad thing either.
Truly embrace creative thinking
The current academic set up needs changing, to say the least. Maybe we should be making use of our size to set up specialised schools for gifted children, thus giving them focused learning to help them maximise their potential. At the moment, their creativity gets lost in a system that celebrates conformity.
On too many occasions, ideas have been shut down because they’re not textbook. If you kill creative thinking in the young, it’s extremely difficult to revive it when they’re older. Creativity is not necessarily something you’re born with: it’s something that is nurtured and grows if encouraged. So, if we’re not encouraged to creatively solve problems when we’re young, how can we do it effectively when we’re older?
And while we’re at it, let’s come up with a proper, detailed e-learning strategy too. We’ve got local experts to consult. They’ll not only help now, but can play their part in an overall plan that will facilitate online learning for years to come.
That way, there won’t be a need to blame teachers, unions, parents or ministers. Education will be made available to all, privately or publicly. Also, a transition can be done easily should another disruption ensue.
Make Innovation a culture
So many people love using “innovation” as a buzzword that it’s quickly losing its effect and meaning. There’s no time to rest on our laurels – other countries have been championing innovation for long enough, while we were comfortable doing things as we’ve always done.
Investment in R & I is necessary for sustainable economic growth and to enhance living standards. Basically, if we ever want Malta to continue evolving, making creative thinking second nature and embracing it should be our priority. Setting up the ministry is a step in the right direction, so here’s to keeping that going!
Next step: set up social media pages for the ministry. Hopefully it will survive beyond the current minister’s tenure and won’t have to rely on his popularity to remain relevant. And it’s a change from the norm too.
Will the Ministry for Innovation prove useful to Malta’s future growth, or should we be focusing our attention elsewhere? Let us know in the comments!