Government’s education reform project

It is recalled that Government’s reform project for Mauritius’ learning sector – the Nine-Year Continuous Basic Education – which has as objective to promote the holistic development of all students was presented on 20 August 2015 by the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research.
 
The aim is to offer a comprehensive basic education cycle that provides students with the foundational skills for success in all further learning leading to an empowered 2030 citizenry.
 
The objectives are to provide equitable Learning for All opportunities for students to attain high levels of achievement, and inculcate in young people a sense of moral responsibility, patriotism and set of values.

The Project

 

The Proposed Education Structure will comprise 13 grades as follows:

 

Grade Level of Education School Setting
  • Grades 1-6
Basic Education (Primary) Primary Schools
  • Grades 7-9
Basic Education (Lower Secondary) Regional Secondary Schools
  • Grades 10-11
Upper Secondary Regional Secondary Schools / Academies
  • Grades 12-13
Upper Secondary Regional Secondary Schools / Academies / Polytechnics
The core of the reform will be the replacement of the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) by the Primary School Achievement Certificate at the end of Grade 6 as from 2017 onwards; the introduction of a National Certificate of Education as from 2020 onwards; and the setting up of Academies which will run classes from Grades 10 to 13 and specialise in certain streams/subjects, and ofPolytechnics.

 What’s new ?
Among the new subjects, there was in 2017 Communications Skills. Other topics will be introduced in the coming years. They are Computer Science, Performing Arts, Health and Physical Education and Values and Citizenship Education. Also introduced will be Modular Assessment, which aims to reduce the pressure on children at the end of the cycle. It is therefore possible to achieve Grade 5 for geo-history and science. Grade 6 content will only cover the sixth year program. Children will not have to study the entire program learned for four years to complete a single exam. The contribution of a support teacher and a specialized teacher for a holistic education, computer science in all classes are new elements to make the system more responsive to needs.

INTRODUCTION OF THE NINE-YEAR SCHOOLING

The CPE is to be replaced by the Primary School Achievement Certificate (PSAC) and performance in this examination will determine entry in the best regional colleges.

There should be no formal examination till Form 111 but closely monitored teacher-based assessment with a mechanism set up to ensure that the children have achieved all the essential competencies before they move to the next class and to ensure similar/comparable standards across the country.

The proposed formula, short, simple, manageable and easy to implement will banish the CPE for good and allow the pupils to at least attend schools fruitfully and happily up to Form 111.
To conclude, the idea of introducing Nine Year Schooling has been on the cards for many years. It is a good initiative if planned, implemented and monitored properly and with genuine interest for the children.

The training programme
The Director of the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), Dr O. Nath Varma, and Professor Naek, Head Curriculum Unit, MIE made a presentation on the training programme.
The programme has been designed to acquaint secondary school Educators with the various aspects of their tasks so as to empower them to work with students in the extended programme.
The training is addressing a wide range of issues such as Educators’ roles and functions within the school organisation, the main features of the extended curriculum, differentiated instruction and the provision of developmentally appropriate learning activities.  Emphasis is placed on further developing communication skills, leadership as well as management skills of Educators.