Education in the Commonwealth: bridging the gap as we accelerate towards achieving internationally agreed goals

Education in Mauritius

Pre-primary Sector
Primary Sector
Secondary Sector

Tertiary Sector


The Education system in Mauritius is largely based on the British one since Mauritius was a former British colony. After the country became independent in 1968, education became one of the main preoccupations of the Mauritian Government to meet the new challenges awaiting the country. Since then, considerable investment of resources, both human and material, has been put into the Education sector and impressive progress has been achieved in terms of a per capita grant to children aged 3+ and 4+ alternately and pre-primary school, free, universal, primary education, free textbooks, free secondary education compulsory up to the age of 16 and a fairly comprehensive range of higher education courses at the two public universities, the University of Mauritius and the University of Technology, Mauritius.

Education has been free for the secondary level since 1977 and for full time undergraduate level at the University of Mauritius since 1988. The State provides adequate funding for education, occasionally straining tight budgets and even subsidizing a great part of the expenditure in grant aided secondary schools, that is, schools under the control of privately owned institutions.


Mauritius has a population of about 1.3 million inhabitants of whom the majority are of Indian origin. The population of African origin is the second largest population in Mauritius, and small sections of the population are of Chinese and European descent.

The medium of instruction in schools is English. Although English is the language of administration and the legal set up in Mauritius, the majority of the population speaks the French-based Mauritian Creole in their everyday interactions. However, the teaching of some Asian languages (Hindi, Urdu, Mandarin/Chinese, Tamil, Marathi, Telugu) as well as Arabic is also included in the curriculum. As of this year, Mauritian Creole ( ‘Kreol Morisien’ –KM) has been introduced in Grade 1 of primary schools while, at the same level, components of Bhojpuri, an ancestral language of people of Indian descent, has now been integrated in the teaching of Hindi.

The Net Enrolment Rate in primary education was 96.8% in 2011 with 98.1% of pupils reaching Grade 6, the last year of primary schooling. 81.5% of pupils progressed to secondary schools, with the GTER being at 45% in 2010.

The Education system comprises the Primary, Secondary, Technical and Tertiary Sectors and the Ministry of Education and Human Resources has constructed the following Vision for the sector:

“ A Quality Education for all and a Human Resource Development base to transform Mauritius into an intelligent nation state in the vanguard of global progress and innovation.”

The Objectives of the sector are fully captured in the ‘Education and Human Resources Strategy Plan (2008 – 2020)’, one that has been formulated after validation by all Stakeholders and peer-reviewed by both the European Union and the World Bank.

Education & Human Resources Strategy Plan (2008-2020)

New Strategy for Prevocational Education Sector

In the context of the implementation of the educational policy reform agenda charted out in the Education and Human Resource Strategy Plan 2008-2020, Government approved a new strategy for the prevocational education sector on 16 December 2011 with a view to make it an integral part of the secondary schooling.

The objective is to give Prevocational Education a new strategic orientation such that it addresses the current challenges and becomes responsive to the needs of an economy which is becoming more and more skills and technology driven.

The main elements of the new strategy are:-

Extension of programme duration
• Provision of 4 years of Prevocational Education with gradual integration of trade skills and entrepreneurial skills right from Year 1.

Review of Curriculum
• A review of the curriculum to align it with the New Secondary Curriculum Framework with greater emphasis on work based experience, social skills, lifelong learning skills and development of trade skills.

Adapted Pedagogy
• A more adapted pedagogy based on acquisition of competencies through practical activities.

Training of teachers
• Capacity Building where the Educators will go undergo further training where activity based learning will be promoted.

Certification & Assessment
• A new mode of assessment with a higher dose of continuous assessment, portfolios etc.
• A new certification pitched on the National Qualifications Framework which would have greater recognition and equivalence.

Quality Assurance
• A Quality Assurance mechanism will be set up in order to secure internal efficiency and quality teaching.

New Tracking Mechanism
New Tracking Mechanism will be set up on order to address the problem of high drop out rates.

Psychological back up

Psychological back up will be provided all through the 4 Year programme.

Recognition of Certificate
• The prevocational certificate will have greater recognition and proper equivalence would be established. This would open up pathways to further education and training, for either vocational education, reintegration of the academic stream.

Bridging the Gap
• A Bridging the Gap Project based on practical activities aiming at helping children regain their self-esteem and develop confidence.

Self Employment Opportunities
• A strategic focus of this new orientation would be to provide necessary exposure and skills in the domains such as Music, Cookery, Creative Arts so that prevocational students could tap self employment opportunities in the hospitality, cultural or artistic industry. They will be able to develop their talents and creative potential.

Project Management
• Management of the Prevocational Sector will be reinforced with the appointment of a Project Manager.

A smooth transition will be worked out for students as follows:

2011 cohort

Year 1: 2011 Old syllabus
Year 2: 2012 Gradual implementation of Year 2 Syllabus
Year 3: 2013 New syllabus : 3 days secondary schools
.................. .. 2 days MITD
Year 4: 2014 New Syllabus: 2 days secondary schools
..................... 3 days MITD

2012 cohort

Year 1: 2012 New syllabus
Year 2: 2013 New syllabus
Year 3: 2014 New syllabus : 3 days secondary schools
.................. .. 2 days MITD
Year 4: 2015 New Syllabus: 2 days secondary schools
..................... 3 days MITD


Implementation has been initiated and the teaching and learning environment is being enhanced and made more conducive. The main objective is to improve the students self esteem, life-long skills and prospects for employability.

Pre Primary sector

The Pre-primary sector traditionally catered for children aged 4 onwards and , since this year, for those aged 3. The NER currently stands at 94 percent, with the State providing a per-child grant of MR 200 (USD 6). Private individuals/ institutions make up some 80 percent of the educational provision in the sector.

The following measures are part of policy developments to consolidate the sector:

• Strengthening the institutional and regulatory framework for the provision of Early Childhood Care and Education.
• Reduction of disparity among pre-schools.
• Addressing the problem of out-of-schools pre-primary children due to absolute poverty.
• Developing a National Curriculum Framework for the pre-primary subsector.
• Ensuring readiness of all pre-primary school children for primary school.
• Construction of pre-primary units in disadvantaged areas
• Strengthening partnerships with parents through a Parent Empowerment Program.

Primary sector

Children are enrolled in primary school from the age of five and enter Standard (Grade) I and move automatically up to Standard VI. The system is competitive and a two-year preparation starts since Standard V up to Standard VI for the end of primary school examinations, the CPE (Certificate of Primary Education). The CPE is a national examination carried out in all the schools of the island following a grading system. Five subjects are compulsory -- English, French, Mathematics, Science, and History and Geography and the grading process is based on the 5 best grades obtained from these along with any one of the Asian/ Arabic languages. .

Government has implemented several initiatives in primary schools of the country in order to improve CPE examinations results. One such initiative is known as the 'Zones d'Education Prioritaires' (Z.E.P.). This initiative targets the schools with low performance over a consecutive period of five years and involves the whole school community: school staff, parents, NGOs, business and community-based associations in improving the school climate and results. Other recent initiatives have included the development of an Enhancement Programme to cater for students of Std III and IV providing several co curricular activities to support the holistic development of the child, and the introduction of ICT in the classroom through the ‘ Sankoré ‘ programme where classes of Std IV are progressively being equipped with computers and interactive projectors.

Secondary sector

The CPE determines admission to a secondary college. Secondary schools are either State owned,grant-aided private schools, or fully private fee-paying schools. The child enters college in Form I and progresses through to Form VI, requiring seven years of schooling since there is a two year preparation for the Higher School Certificate/A-Level examinations. A major nationally devised curriculum has been developed for Forms I-III with the Secondary Curriculum Framework now in place since 2010. Students study for a broad compulsory curriculum up to Form III comprising English, French, Mathematics and the Social and Hard Sciences.

When students reach Form IV, they have to choose at least six major subjects for their O-Level examinations in Form V. Subsequently, students have to specialise in 3 main subjects and 2 subsidiary ones for the A Level examination. The O-Level and A-Level examinations are carried out by the University of Cambridge through the University of Cambridge International Examinations, which devises the syllabus; prepares and prints the examinations papers and does the correction for most subjects.


The main provider of the TVET program is the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD). The purpose of the MITD is to offer numerous technical programs to provide human resource training to meet the needs of the world of work at the middle professional level. The MITD also currently also provides courses at the level of National Diploma. The TVET sector is regulated by the Mauritius Qualifications Authority which also develops and maintains the national Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Tertiary sector

Tertiary education which started in 1924 with the College of Agriculture has since developed into a diversified system, composed of public, private, regional and overseas institutions catering for a wide range of courses and programmes.

Tertiary education in Mauritius is characterized by a wide range of institutions with diverse characteristics. Some provide all levels of tertiary education in a range of disciplines while others focus their activities on only one or two areas at certain levels. A number of the institutions are overseas with their provisions made available through the distance education and mix mode. Within the public sector, tertiary education revolves around the University of Mauritius (UoM), the University of Technology (UTM), the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI), the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD) and the Open University of Mauritius (OUM). Overseeing the four tertiary education institutions (TEIs) is the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) which, inter alia, has responsibility for allocating public funds, and fostering, planning and coordinating the development of post-secondary education and training.

In addition to the above publicly-funded institutions (PFIs), a number of private institutions are presently delivering tertiary-level programmes, mostly in niche areas like Information Technology, Law, Management, Accountancy and Finance. Many of the programmes in the private sector are offered in collaboration with overseas institutions.

Many Mauritian students also either go overseas or resort exclusively to the open learning mode in pursuing their higher education studies.


Click here for the link to Education Statistics in Mauritius


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