The primary school cycle of education has often been put under scrutiny: does it constitute the ideal environment for children to grow and develop their skills, or should the whole system be replaced with a wholly different one, and if yes, what is the best action plan to be devised?
Now that the general elections are getting nearer and nearer, it is likely that the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) will soon be abolished. The relevance of the CPE is being questioned by both the PTr-MMM and the Lepep Alliance. If either wins the forthcoming elections, will the CPE turn into ‘something of the past’? Are the 2014 CPE exams the last to be held?
One of the alternatives that has been suggested entails the concept of the 9-year schooling. Technical committees are said to be currently working on making of the project a reality. The minister of education let out that the Catchment Area has been defined: the list of schools to be affiliated to regional colleges has already been made.
Steven Obeegadoo, the ex-minister of education and member of the MMM, stated that the Ptr and the MMM are unanimous on the question of the 9-year schooling project. He said that the PTr and the MMM are on the “same wavelength” when it comes to the concept in question: they both wish to go beyond the implications of the CPE.
The PTr-MMM alliance members are not the only one inclining to this system of education. Deputee Leela Devi Dookun also said that the MSM is building up a project that would incorporate the idea of the 9-year schooling. All the details of their new program have not been elaborated yet, and they cannot as of now disclose whether the CPE exams will be abolished or not.
Dharam Gokhool, ex-minister of education of the PTr, also shared his thoughts on the matter. According to him, mounting up a 9-year schooling program for next year would be too hasty a step to take. He is of the opinion that the very concept is not clearly established, and that it remains blurry. He stated that parents and other stakeholders have to participate at a certain level of decision-making in case the CPE is to be abolished. He maintained that the 9-year schooling is not a solution to the problems faced in the education sector, one of them being the rate of failure which is around 30 %. He insists that the problem begins in early childhood itself.