The Nine-Year Schooling programme will be revealed this week. Already, it has received mixed reactions. According to l’Express.mu, the views of the syndicates who were consulted by the Ministry of Education are divided as to the reform project.
For years have Mauritians demanded for an alternative to the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE). While a group of the population were for the CPE, another would show great opposition to the primary school system, arguing that it was unhealthy for the young pupils. As such, the government came up with a Nine-Year Schooling plan. The concept of having the CPE eradicated is welcomed, but do the parties concerned believe the alternative being put together by the authorities is the best one?
The president of the Government Teachers’ Union, Vinod Seegum, commented on the project, affirming that the Nine-Year Schooling is a step forward. According to him, regionalisation will favour regional competition instead of one on a national level. He added that examinations at the end of the primary cycle of education was important.
Vinod Seegum also expressed his views on abolishing prevocational education. He explained that remedial education would not help all the students concerned. How will those of a lower level be taken care of, he asked. He believes the ministry must attend to these questions.
Other education-oriented bodies have spoken out. For instance, the Mauritius Head-Teachers’ Association (MHTA) mentioned the occurrence of a number of grey areas. They clarified that they were not opponents of the new project, but that a number of questions regarding its application remained unanswered. The association said that it apprehended the application of the reform programme. They argued that primary schools were already facing several problems such as a lack of staff. They believe these issues have to be dealt with first.
The president of the association of rectors, Madoo Ramjee, has also shared his opinions. He said that parents must be informed of what would happen to students who would be in STD 6 in 2017. Furthermore, he stated that the number of students enrolling for form I must be taken into consideration, as well as those taking part to the HSC examinations.
As for educators of State colleges, l’Express.mu reports that they are against the reform. The president of the federation of civil service, Naraindranath Gopee, has criticised the ministry. According to them, the system has a number of loopholes.