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In appreciation: Dr Sandro Spiteri

It is a sad news to learn of the early demise of a dedicated educator as was Dr Sandro Spiteri. Among the many milestones in his career in the education sector, he also served for seven years at the Foundation for Educational Services. He worked tirelessly in the promotion of literacy programmes that empowered the whole family. In 2007 he founded the Malta Writing Project, of which he was the Head till 2011. He had also served as an Acting CEO of the same Foundation.

In May 2020, FES published a book that showcased an abridged history of the FES. It also celebrated the work and achievements of the hundreds of workers who have contributed to its programmes over these two decades. The invaluable work carried out by Dr Sandro Spiteri was an important part of the book, part of which is being reproduced here.

FES also invested heavily in the training of the same tutors forming part of the Malta Writing Programme. Annual month-long courses served to create working groups that explored different creative writing skills, and then penned their own contributions, using their original literature offerings as a form of art and expression. These artistic efforts did not go unnoticed, as the Head of the Malta Writing Programme in 2006, Mr Sandro Spiteri, worked to edit a collection of prose and poetry, from participants who attended the training courses between 2001 and 2006. Two established, contemporary Maltese authors, Dr Adrian Grima and Mr Immanuel Mifsud, selected the final set of literary works that finally found their place on the pages of a publication titled Fewġiet. The anthology was published by FES in 2007 and featured 45 pieces of writing by 27 authors.

In September 2005, the Foundation for Educational Services collaborated with the Curriculum Directorate within the Education Division, to organise a national conference titled ‘Writing to Learn, Writing to Teach’.

The conference sought to strengthen the role of the writing process as an important aspect of the literacy strategy in Malta. It also aimed to provide a practical learning experience for teachers, parents and other education stakeholders.

The keynote speaker at the conference was Prof. Richard Sterling, the executive director of the American National Writing Project and faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. He spoke about how writing is strongly connected to learning and helps to prepare students for a journey of lifelong learning and success at the workplace.

Another speaker was Ms. Christine Johnston, Director for the Development of Learning at Rowan University in New Jersey, US. She addressed the issue of how different learning needs influence the way one writes, and in turn influences the teaching of writing.

Mr Sandro Spiteri, Head of the MWP, discussed the historical perspectives of teaching writing in Maltese, and how the writing process could be a way forward.

The conference included several workshops on applying writing skills through IT and subjects such as History, and on adopting teaching strategies for primary and secondary levels.​


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