A NEW EDUCATION SYSTEM IN MAURITIUS
PROPOSAL AND REFORMS


Nine years schooling

Nine years schooling would be divided into 3 categories lower, middle and upper primary. Pupils would enter lower primary at the age of 4 to end the upper primary at the age of 13. In order for it to work effectively, lower, middle and upper primary should be at the same school. Because, there would be always the problem of competition. Every parent would like that his child gets a good school to follow his upper primary.


4 years at primary

As we all know most children enter pre-primary at the age of 3 and stays two years at pre-primary before entering the primary. Pupils in standard 1 do practically the same work as the kids in the second year of pre-primary due to the fact that all pupils do not receive the same level at pre-primary. To make the child benefits for the maximum that's why we are proposing that it would be better to have only one year at pre-primary at the age of 3 which would be free and then at 4 the child would enter primary.


The course subjects at primary

English language, French language, mathematics, environmental studies, religion, moral values, physical education, music, and fine arts.


The syllabus

In fact the syllabus would be the same apart from slights modifications but would be completed in 9 years instead of 6 years. Very often what happens in our schools is that teachers do not have really time to have class discussion, group work, projects, perform activities etc., because once again we meet with the time factor that influences our teaching. Since, the syllabus is awkward teachers do not have enough time to do all these activities which are very important for a child: (to be able) to observe, record, interpret, think and reason. In the present education system, teachers are always pouring knowledge in the cup and the pupils learn by heart without knowing sometimes what they are learning. Pupils we considered as bright can recite a book and even tell you the page in which a particular piece of information is found. Very often we see children who have worked well for CPE did not perform well in secondary. Everywhere there is competition but do we have the right to take children's failures as trophy for the passed student's satisfaction.


Languages

Language is a big problem in our education system since, we live in a multiracial country. In the present system we find that most of our children entering school speak their native language which is Creole. Then when the child enters pre-primary he is exposed to French and in some cases English language. Entering primary, he learns French, English and an oriental language for many. It is obvious that we cannot eliminate one or more languages from our syllabus. Therefore, we find it very difficult because everyone wants to promote his religion, cultures and traditions. But on the other hand we cannot expect a child to learn so many languages that lead to confusion in his mind. Many children cannot distinguish between /i/ in English and /i/ in French. Every language has its own structure and it is sometimes difficult for a child to understand those structures. Consequently, children should study at least two foreign languages. Since, French and English languages are the most popular languages it is obvious that we teach them first. English being our national language it should be started first in speech in standard 1 and later written in standard 3. Whereas for French, it should to be started in standard 1 only in speech until in standard 4 where it is going to be written. The only difference is that they should not be introduced in written at same standard. A third foreign language is not obligatory, but can be taken at the lower secondary or pre-vocational level (Hindu, Urdu, Tamil, Télégu, Marathi, Mandarin, Italian). Perhaps you are asking yourself why taking so much time before teaching a child to write English, French and an oriental language, but in the present system we see that many children can not express themselves fluently in any of these two languages even not at all. The aim is to bring more children express themselves in the following languages and if they can do so it would be a big step forward.

The problem would arise when somebody of a particular culture would be against the idea that the third language is taught at lower secondary and pre-vocational rather than at primary level. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that we use mostly French and English in our day to day life and there is no way out. It is better to know well a language rather than to know a bit of many languages that will not help to communicate with others .


Religions at primary

As we live in a multiracial society and that every community has it's own religion, it is very important that every child should have the right to learn his religion.

When people learn, they learn within a particular learning context. This context enable them to take in information and experiences, interpret these experiences, and use them for day to day living. It helps to make learning relevant to their needs.

The learning context is made up of people's particular culture, heritage and language. That's why these three things are so important.

They shape and form what people learn. They help them understand it and use it in a way that makes sense. Because of their importance for developing a learning context, culture, heritage and language form the foundation of learning.

Every child should learn what is essential in his religion, the scriptures books, the different forms of prayers that make his religion unique. Moreover, he should have a simple knowledge of others religious beliefs in order to develop respect and tolerance. If a child know about his religion, somebody else will not be his enemy but our differences can become the proud of our country as the colours of the rainbow.


Specialist Teachers

Specialist teachers should be trained to teach music at school as in the case of movement education.


Oriental languages teachers

Since, Oriental languages are to be taught at lower secondary and vocational schools it is obvious that teachers teaching in primary schools should be transferred in secondary and vocational schools to teach those languages.


Classrooms hours

Nowadays, because of competition children do not have time for themselves. After school there is tuition and after tuition there is homework. Consequently, we have worked for a new classroom hours per week which would be benefit to our children as well as for the teachers who will have more time preparing their classes. Adding to that, there would be optional classes for pupils in every standard who need special attention after the normal classroom hours given by the class teacher. Furthermore, teachers from standards 1 and 7 would have time allocated to them to prepare visuals for their classes at school, because in those standards every class subject should be supported by apparatus done by the teacher.

Standard I to II - 20 hr (+5 hr remedial classes)

Standard III to V - 25 hr (+7 ˝ hr remedial classes)

Standard VI to VII - 27 ˝ hr (+5 hr remedial classes)

Standard VIII to IX - 32 ˝ hr

Secondary school level 24 hr - (+12 hr for optional subjects).

The total load at primary level would be 32 ˝ hr and secondary level would be 36 hr per week.

Therefore, in that way private tuition would be banished for ever as remedial classes would form part of the school hours.


After school care centres for schoolchildren

In many families both parents work. Others consist of a single working parent. If their children are in the lower and middle primary school, they would have a need for child care after the school day. These centres would provide a secure and stimulating environment where the children can play and take part in various activities. These centres could be located in Municipalities and village councils.


Parent's councils for primary and lower secondary schools

The parent's council would be an advisory body for the Ministry of Education. It's goal would be to promote co-operation between the home and the school. The council would attend to parent's interests in school matters.


Holidays

Since, Mauritius is a tropical country and that during the month of December and January it is very hot and that very often we face very uncomfortable temperatures, it is a necessity to change our holiday's period. Adding to that, cyclones frequently visit our country in that particular period and pupils miss schools.