Andrew Bezzina / LinkedIn

eCabs CEO Andrew Bezzina on Monday suggested that O-Level and A-Level examinations should be held at students’ own schools, rather than at a single examination centre, amid traffic congestion across the Maltese Islands.

On Monday, a major road closure between Naxxar and St Paul’s Bay meant students were among the hundreds of cars stuck in stand-still traffic, with several reports of students arriving late to their highly important morning O-Level examinations.

On the same day, areas near Malta International Airport were also subject to standstill traffic during midday, with some drivers even reportedly “switching off their engines” as a result. Such problems were enlarged further on Tuesday, as some overnight rain showers prompted traffic collisions that resulted in heavy traffic across various parts of the country, including Fgura, Birgu, Żejtun, St Paul’s Bay, St Venera, and the Coast Road (Naxxar), among other locations.

Traffic / Maltese Roads Traffic Updates / Facebook
Monday’s heavy traffic in Luqa (near Malta International Airport) / Maltese Roads Traffic Updates / Facebook

This has led to concerns for many parents, with students currently taking their SEC and MATSEC examinations (also known as O-Levels and A-Levels, respectively). This particular period is already a stressful time for students, and not knowing whether or not they will be able to arrive on time only continues to add to those worries.

“Traffic congestion and roadworks continue to be a major problem for students trying to get to their exams on time,” Dr Bezzina said.

He drew upon his experience as a father of two children, and notes that it won’t be long until his family “will have to shuffle between work and ensuring they get to their exams”, which can prove to be a “logistical nightmare for families”.

He proceeded to suggest that instead of having “students from all over the island flood into a single examination centre”, the authorities should instead carry out the examinations in “students’ own schools or in regional catchment areas to avoid generating more traffic”.

“Rather than [having] students travel to their exam centres, the exam centres should come to them,” Dr Bezzina added.

“As a tech company, at eCabs we collect huge volumes of data on traffic flows which show that MATSEC [and SEC] season clogs up central areas of the island,” he continued.

He proposed that transport authorities could opt to “draft cycle and walking roues for students” within a “five-kilometre radius”, as well as encourage public transport for students as an “affordable and reliable alternative” to being driven to their exams.

“We believe that by working together, we can create a better and more efficient system for everyone,” Dr Bezzina said, before concluding with: “Let’s work together to ensure that students have access to the education they need, without the stress of navigating through traffic.”

His idea was met with positive replies from various people, including Eden Leisure Group CEO Simon De Cesare, who noted that it is a “great idea”, as well as BRND WGN CEO Peter Grech, who remarked that it is a “refreshing” suggestion, and one that he hopes “lands on the right agenda and actually happens”.

Romina Buttigieg, Territory Business Development Manager at ComplyRadar, commented that having exams in students’ own schools is a suggestion that has already been raised by her and a number of other parents, as aside from curbing traffic issues, students will also “feel at home being in the same environment they have just spent five years at”.

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eCabs CEO Andrew Bezzina / LinkedIn

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