I agree wholeheartedly with the editorial of June 30 entitled Mediocrity And Lack Of General Knowledge. It’s not just children who are rather ignorant of the country’s role in World War II and what we went through, but also their parents.
It’s the grandparents who have been through it all and can never forget the experience. Lord Ashfort was certainly right when he said that we all must take responsibility for ensuring that what we know is passed to the next generation.
It was for that purpose that I wrote what must be the very first account of the war in Maltese specially for children. Although it is called Il-Misteru tar-Rotunda and deals specifically with what the Mosta people had to endure during the last war, the book gives a detailed account of Malta’s role and the experience on the rest of Malta.
The book is found in all Malta’s libraries and is a must read even by grown-ups.
Further on the editorial complained that even in Malta, as in Britain, knowledge, not just of the war but of history generally, is scant, not only among secondary school children but, quite surprisingly, even among University students.
And the reason is one: they never read enough. As you say, the sharp drop in the standard of written and spoken Maltese and English is distressing. I’ve been writing books for almost 40 years to try to remedy this situation, especially where Maltese is concerned.
For the record, I have published the first three e-books in Maltese, knowing that this new system appeals more to our youngsters. It may incite them to find more time to read. Yet, I was extremely disappointed in that I have found very little support by our media. Four weeks ago I sent reports and photos of my last e-book Il-Buli tal-Iskola to all the newspapers and only two of them (unfortunately not The Times) published them.
I am rather surprised at what the paper itself calls “the disinterest, mediocrity and I-don’t-care attitude” being shown around by most of our media. Maybe this letter will help to have this book published by The Times for the sake of our children and young adults.