The quality of education has been subjected to various criticisms in the past. With the new changes brought forward, we tend to ask ourselves whether we are progressing or regressing. First, there was the Nine-Year Continuous Basic Education. Now, the resolution to allow a SC student with three credits moving up to HSC is problematic. Young professionals debate on this issue.
Zafiir Bholah : “Reform is trying to provide equality and equity”
Chemistry Educator, Zafiir Bholah, argues that the reform in education has been causing a lot of stress for students, teachers and parents alike. “Everybody is at loss with the changes that the reform is going to bring. Being an educator, I have noticed that there have been tremendous changes in the textbooks, syllabus and learning outcomes for Grade 7. The changes are positive ones whereby the reform is trying to cater for all students alike.”
He believes that the reform is trying to provide equality and equity in education at both primary and secondary levels. “It is aiming at a level where students do not learn to pass exams only but rather learn in order to become more independent, open minded and most importantly, to turn into more respectful citizens. The reform is raising the quality of education in Mauritius. It is aiming at an education which is fit at both national and international levels. Students are being trained to become more logical and to develop holistically. The Nine-Year Continuous Basic Education is already present in many countries and by implementing it, Mauritius is upgrading its education system.”
Yaadav Damree : “Our system does not focus on holistic education”
In today’s era, it should be noted that our educational system focuses on academic education and not on holistic education, highlights Yaadav. “Despite recent reforms, we still need to implement many other programs to overcome our archaic educational system. The system we currently have is shaping few intellectuals and no technicians who have specific knowledge in practical sectors. Hence, this has a negative impact on the future of young Mauritians.”
He further adds that the decision by the Minister of Education that only three passed credits will be needed to be promoted to HSC must be looked at from a positive perspective. “Those with five credits will indeed succeed, but this decision will also allow students with lesser grades to be able to access HSC for advanced education in relation with their respective fields. Therefore, for those with three credits, it will be a plus point. However, the problem with the decision is that the HSC requirement is five credits and those students with three credits might not be integrated in public sector, and also in certain cases, they might not be succeed in joining universities. This will surely affect the quality of our youngsters in relation to employment and tertiary education, as they will not be considered.”
Omeshna Rutty : “Education reform for a better life”
Education is said to be the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world, says Omeshna. “This is also true since students are under a lot of pressure from the time they are in primary school, as the education system in Mauritius is very competitive and they struggle hard so as to aim for better results in CPE. One major change has been made to our education system recently and it is, as all we are aware, the Nine-Year Continuous Basic Education, which has been implemented so as to lessen the pressure of pupils at primary level.
Accordingly, this is a really good initiative that the Government has taken and this surely will improve the quality of our education system. Since the CPE has been taken out, middle or lower class families can breathe more easily, as the need for private tuition would eventually decrease. Instead, CPE students will take part at the National Exams at Grade 9. If changing the education system is for a better life, then why not? That certainly does not mean affecting the quality but on the contrary, improving it by lessening the pressure. Students would then have more free time to concentrate on critical thinking, which is a must at tertiary level. They would be free from the banking model of education.”
Tariq Jhungeer : “It corroborates an equitable quality education”
English Educator Tariq Jhungeer states that there is no doubt the Nine-Year Continuous Basic Education (NYCBE) reform brings with itself a lot of changes and challenges. “It is also worthwhile when the outcomes are considered. Through the NYCBE, the needs of low achievers are catered for and an extended programme has been designed for students who are in need of more time to attain the required level of competencies.
This is already better than having CPE drop-outs. More to that, apart of the core subjects, the NYCBE provides non core subjects such as Performing Arts and Life Skills and Values, which help the students to develop their potentials as well as enhance their learning process. Furthermore, the new curriculum provides an online platform of free digital learning resources and this will surely make the students IT literate. On the whole, these aforementioned aspects of the NYCBE show that it corroborates an equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning for all. However, the final results are yet to be seen.”