Read more about Liċeo Mikiel Anton Vassalli

The Mikiel Anton Vassalli Junior Lyceum was situated at the tal-Ħandaq area in Qormi and was established in 1981 on the grounds of the former Royal Naval School that served children of the British servicemen between 1947 and 1978. 

The Liċeo M.A. Vassalli, as it was also known, was named after the patriot Mikiel Anton Vassalli who had at heart the social, economic and political future of the Maltese people. It offered secondary education to male students between the ages of ten and sixteen. The school complex was characterised by Nissen huts and small blocks set in a random layout adjacent and along a main thoroughfare that directed vehicular traffic in a single direction from one gate to another. Having formerly been a barracks during World War II, this layout was intended to resemble a Maltese village camouflaging the military infrastructure from potential air attacks. To support educational activities, the school had a number of facilities including: a multi-purpose hall, a gymnasium with parquet flooring, an athletics’ room, three basketball/tennis/volleyball courts which also served as football pitches, a cinema room, a table-tennis room, a music room, an arts’ studio, as well as a computer room which was a first of its kind in the 1980’s.

A unique characteristic of the school that distinguished it from other local educational institutions was the fact that all subject teachers had their classroom which meant the students and not the teachers moved from one class (teacher/subject) to the other at the end of each lesson period which lasted forty five minutes. Another particularity was that the first session started at 08:45 – the latest starting time for secondary schools in Malta. Wednesdays were half-days intended to give students a midweek break to enjoy sports and extracurricular activities.

National educational protocols mandated that students attended classes in a school uniform and different schools sported their particular colours to distinguish them from others. The Junior Lyceum winter uniform consisted of green trousers, blazer and jersey with a light beige shirt and a green tie with thin diagonal red and white lines. 

The summer uniform saw the students shed the blazer, jersey, shirt and tie replacing these with a short-sleeved polo shirt in the same beige colour as the winter shirt and carrying the school’s emblem on a left chest pocket.

The school was so popular in the 1980’s that it became the educational yardstick for students in their last year of primary school, who strived to pass examination sittings specifically set for entrance to the Junior Lyceums. Liċeo M.A. Vassalli was at the very top of educational standards within the public sector which success also had a pull-effect on private secondary schools. Mr John Michael Testa, the chartered headmaster to the school and project driver on the Ministry of Education Junior Lyceum plan, encouraged students to achieve their best and to participate in various educational and sports competitions at national and even international level. Mr Testa’s unwavering drive was contagious and a high bar was set for the Liċeo M.A. Vassalli students, paving the way for enhanced potential in each individual student’s career achievements.