The Nine Year Schooling Nondebate

Why is a reform necessary in any field of society and life? Is it because something fundamental has gone awry? If so what is it?

I am of opinion that the whole system of education, although free at primary level since the 50s and free at secondary level since 1977, has totally failed to produce the required effect, i.e. to make of Mauritius and Rodrigues a nation of fully literate people capable of facing the challenges of the modern world. Universal functional literacy is achievable if the right policy and teaching strategy are adopted. Teaching the unknown through the unknown has always had very poor results.

Universal functional literacy is not a luxury to be enjoyed by a few but a vital tool for the development of all. In the Republic of Mauritius bilingual universal functional literacy is within the reach of all citizens if we have the wisdom, the social awareness and political will to consider radical changes and not be blinded by superficial cosmetic changes. As a nation we cannot go on putting a new coat of paint on termite-ridden wood.

We are wasting our time on details forgetting the most essential point which is the failure of the system to generate universal functional literacy in both the national (Morisien) and official (English) languages without which we cannot equip citizens with the vital tools for individual and collective development in all fields be it economic, social, political or cultural.

A few years ago I proposed a 9 year basic education programme on which advanced and further education could be built but it fell on deaf ears. Let me repeat it with the hope that it will now remove cataracts, repair hearing and stimulate our creative energy and daring minds.

This is what was suggested.

By Medium of teaching we mean it is the language used to learn reading and writing; to learn other subjects; it is also the language in which examination papers are set and in which candidates should answer questions.

2 Ethnic languages, IT, basic social science etc.

 

  • Published in print edition on 11 September 2015

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