The Mauritius education system is made after the British model and with huge improvements after the island’s independence. The Mauritius education it has been free since 1976 for the secondary level and since 1988 for the postsecondary level. The island’s government made efforts to offer enough funding for the Mauritius education, 13% being allocated in the 1991-1992 period.
Still, the facilities in the rural areas are not as adequate as are in cities like Port Louis. In 1979, a new unit was established by the government in the Education and Cultural Affairs Ministry to coordinate and oversee the teaching resources at about 900 preschools from the private sector.
The women’s increasing participation in the labour force led to the preschool system’s expansion. The public preschools were established by government in 1984. The standard 1-6 primary education is compulsory, with around 6.500 teachers and 137.000 students, in 1990, in 283 schools, which represents about 92% of children.
At the secondary level, in the same period and for 124 schools, there were about 3.700 teachers for about 78.000 students. In the Mauritius system, a student must pass some exams at specific stages to continue his studies, just like in the British system. About 60% of the primary students manage to pass exams for the admission to the secondary school.
There are also numerous private schools, as alternative. The University of Mauritius is the island’s main higher education institution, where about 1.100 students were admitted in 1991. There are postsecondary institutions such as Mauritius Institute of Education, where the teachers are trained, the College of Air and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute.
Most of the Mauritius students studying abroad each every year go to India, France and Britain. The Mauritius education provides centres for the vocational training (with about 1.200 students in 1991), technical institutions (690 students in the same year) and 5 centres for the handicraft training.
English is the instruction’s sole language, for the standard level. Before, the Bhojpuri and Creole are used by teachers to teach English the students that don’t know that language. The French is required for the standard 3 onward and there is also the possibility of taking classes in some of the Asian languages. The island’s government sees the Mauritius education as an area of high importance for the economy’s development. This is why, in the ‘90s, the Mauritius education minister presented the Education Master Plan for 9 years, at the Paris donors meeting.
According to the plan, the education will be expanded at all the levels, new schools will be established, the existing facilities will be improve, especially the vocational and the technical education. The technical used to be an area that didn’t offer the skills needed by the country’s industries.
The literacy rate, for the people with ages under 30 years, is of 95% but the government has some concerns about the dropout rate, which is high, especially at the secondary level. The number of the places at university was increased to 5.000 with new study courses introduced.