The travails of gerontology education in Malta: Challenges and possibilities
As in recent decades, Malta has experienced an increase in both the number of available university programs in ageing studies and graduate students, the aim of this article is to evaluate the country’s efforts in ensuring a trained workforce in gerontology, geriatrics, and dementia education. While Malta punches above its weight as far as gerontology education is concerned, one also notes a number of shortcomings. The country is still devoid of a clear space for professional gerontologists to put in practice all their knowledge, and unfortunately both public and private employers are still highly unaware of the skills that professional gerontologists can bring toward the improvement of the quality of life and well-being of older persons living either in the community or long-term care. Moreover, curricula remain hindered by two key limitations. Primarily, there is a disproportionate Western bias in the choice of theories and practices in all realms of ageing studies. Second, that no full-time faculty member at the Department of Gerontology and Dementia Studies is a geriatrician, and that such faculty members all service the University on a visiting basis. In this respect, this chapter recommends three key and urgent strategies for gerontology education in Malta. These include establishing gerontology as a discipline in its own right is long overdue, founding gerontology as a bona fide profession, and accrediting gerontology.
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