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Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: THE EVOLUTION IN EDUCATION ........................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.


1.1 History ........................................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
1.2 Introduction ................................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
1.3 Summary .................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
CHAPTER 2: FUTURE IN OUR HANDS (By Sir Kher Jagatsingh) ................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
2.1 Few Words on Sir Kher Jagatsingh ............................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
2.2 Introduction ................................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
2.3 Pre-Primary Sector ...................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
2.4 Primary Sector Of Education ....................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
2.5 All These Efforts Have Taken Into Consideration The Needs Of The Child .. Error! Bookmark not
defined.
2.6 Community & Secondary Education ............................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
2.7 Occupational & Vocational Training (The Central Training Office) Error! Bookmark not defined.
2.8 Cultural & International Aspects.................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
2.9 Conclusion .................................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
CHAPTER 3: CRITICAL ANALYSIS “FUTURE IN OUR HANDS” ............ Error! Bookmark not defined.
3.1 Retrospective: Future in our Hands (Mrs PULTON-AUDIT, ID: 101993)...... Error! Bookmark not
defined.
3.2 (Mrs ALLYJAUN Shaheen, ID: ) ..................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
3.3 (Mrs MALLECK-HOSSEN Reshma, ID: ) ......................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
CHAPTER 4: PRESENTATION .................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
References ........................................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.

CHAPTER 2: FUTURE IN OUR HANDS (By Sir Kher Jagatsingh)

“When almost by accident and force of historical circumstances, I was offered the
portfolio of Education and Cultural Affairs in January 1977, I was already aware of the
long and arduous task that awaited me. It was a crucial and decisive time to be

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Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs. This colossal task of reform and
development was a real challenge, the like of which I had never faced before.”
~Honorable Kher Jagatsingh~

2.1 Few Words on Sir Kher Jagatsingh


• Sir Kher Jagatsingh
• Born on 23rd July, 1931 in Amritsar, India.
• After secondary studies started his career as a clerk in the Civil Service before becoming a
journalist.
• Served on the Times of India, Delhi; he also served, rather briefly, on the Slough Observer and
the Paddington Times, London.
• Became active in politics in 1948
• Co-founded the Mauritius Times, a weekly, in 1954 and in 1970 he again co-founded the daily
newspaper, The Nation. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the daily Advance.
He also founded Mauritius Today.
• He founded The Triveni in 1958 and mooted the idea of creating the Mahatma Gandhi Institute.
• First elected to the Mauritian legislature in 1959. He was re-elected in 1967, and again joined
the Legislative Assembly in January 1977.
• Was Minister of Health from 1967 to 1971; Minister of Economic Planning and Development
from 1971 to 1976 and Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs from 1977 to 1982.
• Was General Secretary of the Mauritius Labour Party from 1961 to 1982.
• Was knighted in December 1980.
• Was part of the first delegation of independent Mauritius at the International Sugar Conference,
Geneva, in April 1968.
• Addressed the 7th Special Session of the United Nations, General Assembly, New York,
September 1975
• Published Petals of Dust, June 1981
• Died July 18th, 1985 in London.

2.2 Introduction
Mauritius inherited a colonial system of education, beliefs and values. With independence, there has
been a growing realization: the most important resource was the man power. It was necessary to
prepare a labour force with appropriate attitude, civic awareness and skills.

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The 1977 & 1978 have been momentous & eventful years in the history of the Mauritian Education. The
Govt decided that secondary & university education should be free as from Jan 1977. Sir Kher
Jagatsingh assumed the direction of education and cultural affairs and he was faced with a real
challenge. He planned to implement a whole series of reforms in all the educational sectors by
providing equality of educational opportunity for each and every Mauritian individual.
Emphasis was placed on the democratization of the education system, the spreading out of schools and
colleges evenly over the country so as to balance the educational facilities between the urban and rural
areas and the diversification of the curricula.
His clear cut vision was to move Mauritius from the agricultural country to a more industrialized society.
His aim was to match the education with the changing needs of the country.
He believed that education as a national issue would benefit from dialogue with students,
administrators, teachers, and parents, providing people with what is best and what ought to be
functional.

2.3 Pre-Primary Sector


For the Minister, pre-school education had not been given sufficient attention for quite a long time.
With the rapid changes during the past decade, and with more women participating in all sectors of the
economy, there was a need to cater for a greater number of young children. So, according to the
Jagatsingh Report it was found that with steady industrialization, adequate facilities had to be provided
for the children of working mothers.
“petites ecoles”, ´creches’, kindergarten” have always existed and run by various institutions such as:
• The Joint Child Health Education Project
• Churches
• Sugar Estates
• Private Enterprises
• Sugar Industry Labor Welfare Fund
• Local branch of the organization Mondiale Pour L’Education Prescolaire
• Village councils
• Municipalities
• Benevolent organisations
Even in this connection these had not been reliable and so careful attention was given to this sector in
the following manner:

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• an evaluation study was carried out
• targets were set for both quantitative & qualitative development
• the Mauritius college of Education and the Mauritius Institute of Education were involved in
improving the standard of pre-primary education through the training of teachers & setting up
of pilot projects
• Pilot studies concerning the needs of small children and problems posed by working mothers
were identified and carried out especially in the context of the celebration for the International
year of the child in 1979
• since there were about a thousand pre-primary schools & related establishment out of which
half were registered with the Ministry of Education, a pre-primary unit was set up in the
Ministry to control and report on the pre-primary schools. This unit acted also as an umbrella
agency to provide guidance for policy, planning & supervision.
• All partners in the pre-primary sector as well as outside assistance mainly UNICEF was sought

On the whole, the main consideration was to prepare the young child to accede to primary schooling in
a smooth manner.

2.4 Primary Sector Of Education


The Minister stressed on quality education which was the main focus and to achieve this certain
parameters had to be respected such as staff, school environment, work condition and so on.
It was noted that for 135,000 students only 270 schools were in existence, showing unequal ratios in
certain areas. Financial and human resources played an important role in the initiation of quality
education. Teacher/ pupil ratio would go down with more schools being built.
It was accepted that fundamental changes had to take place on all fronts, administration, pedagogical
and socio-economic so as to foster a higher level of education. Yet it must start at the primary level
itself. Accordingly emphasis was laid on mauritianisation of the curriculum to bring better development
in education.
The Minister also proposed to abolish Junior scholarship as it pressurized the whole education sector.
He decided to merge the Certificate of Primary Education with Junior Scholarship by 1980.

The government after the experience of 1977 appointed a commission of inquiry headed by Mr Frank
Richard, who was the Director of the MIE, to:

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• review the scope and functions of the primary sector of education
• assess the need for further curricular, provide administrative reforms
• consider problems arising out of the changing needs of the country and make recommendations
regarding social, cultural and economic circumstances of the country.
According to the report, these recommendations would enable the Ministry to bring about global
reform in this sector of education.
All the stakeholders ranging from the representatives of unions, federations of civil service unions,
Ministry of Finance, UNICEF, UNESCO, World Bank, to members of the MIE looked into various aspects
of teachers’ duties and roles.

The decisions taken in 1977 and 1978 reflected a real concern for all aspects of a concerned approach to
policy, planning and administration of the primary education:
• Moray house in collaboration with the Min Of Education and the MIE and the British Council
already carried out briefing on conducting the examination in view of merging Junior Scholarship
and Primary School Leaving Certificate.
• The role of PTA was more clearly defined
• Free distribution of shoes and continuation of World Food Programme was reviewed
• Better deployment of graduates in the primary
• Concurrent facilities provided to Mauritian students to Rodrigues
• Training of Extra teaching assistants
• Review of the Primary School Leaving Certificate examinations with the MIE

2.5 All These Efforts Have Taken Into Consideration The Needs Of The Child
The provision of additional facilities, and amenities, books, better water supply, better buildings etc
were catered. Children could even take their books home with them.
The role of the head teacher was also reviewed. In fact the quality of education depends on the head
teachers. There should be the aspect of decentralization involving immediate responsibility to head
teachers. They were also provided with a comprehensive course on educational administration and
management.
The PTA has brought about a greater participation of the community in the educational sector. The
creation of a Federation of PTA and the subsidy of 50 cents per head of the primary school population
was a great incentive.

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One main preoccupation of the Jagatsingh report was the reassessment of the contents and teaching of
oriental languages. Emphasis was placed on the training of teachers in all these languages and on better
local textbooks to give oriental language and culture more credibility.
The Mahatma Gandhi Institution collaboration with the Ministry looked deeper into examination of
oriental language teaching, contents and methodology.
Hence since the policy of free primary education for all was adopted and no one of school going age was
to be refused admission to a primary school, Honourable Kher Jagatsingh was determined to further
democratize education, to give equal opportunity to all.

2.6 Community & Secondary Education


Community Schools
• The main policy of the government is to provide education to each child according to his needs,
aptitudes and abilities.
• Children who fail to obtain a certificate of Primary Education after two attempts will be given an
opportunity to make good in community schools in line with the policy that the basics of a
certain amount of numeracy and literacy are essential for the healthy development of every
child.
• Students who could not join a normal secondary school and who did not get through std VI, will
be sent to community schools; in 1978, 4000 students went to community schools and in 1979,
7000 students are expected in this exercise.
• As far as the approximately 1000 small community schools like baitkas and madrassas together
with some 2000 part time teachers are concerned, actions will be taken to improve the quality
of teaching and reinforce their role in our social and cultural life as these schools are an
essential link to the preservation and dissemination of our cultural heritage.
• The Community Schools will aim to develop a three-year cycle and will operate in the Junior
Secondary Schools and will also get the best facilities as far as teaching staffs, learning materials
are concerned.
• The role of the MIE is to devise a curriculum and to train staffs for the community schools by
taking into consideration the needs of children who requires special attention and the changing
needs of the community.

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Secondary Education
• Approximately 80 000 children have access to free education provided by 7 SSS, MGI and 12 JSS
with approximately 3000 teachers.
• The PSSA exercises effective control of nearly 90% of all the secondary sector; that was the
biggest single act of democratisation that has ever been carried out in the annals of the
Mauritian history.
• Government set up an Institute of Education with major commitment to curriculum
development and responsibilities for teacher training, preparation of materials and eventually
educational research; the government of Mauritius has decided to undertake a reform of its
educational system with the cooperation of the UNESCO, UNDP and the World Bank.
• Decolonisation of the Mauritian education system as many people look to Government and
education as a means for rectifying or overcoming the nation’s problems and deficiencies since
free education became the greatest leveller in society.
• More buildings for secondary and post primary education with the assistance of UNESCO and
the World Bank.
• Occupational training was in need for reorganisation and it was recognised that to reduce
competition for secondary schools and to improve the quality of the private sector, the
government had to expand its programme of assistance and also provide its own expanded
facilities.
• The PSSA was reinforced with better means of control supervision and guidance;
implementation of the Book loan scheme and its inspectorate has been strengthened.
• Most of the prescribed texts were given on loan to pupils of Forms I, IV and VI.
• Collaboration of the MIE in preparing secondary textbooks.
• In 1978, the salary of teachers in the profit making schools was aligned on the basis of the award
of the Permanent Arbitration Tribunal in favour of teachers in non-profit making schools.
• Release of teachers to upgrade their professional qualifications.
• Up to the beginning of early 1977, government intake was roughly 700 pupils in Form I, in early
1978, the intake rose to 2 380 and in early 1979 to 2800. This wider access to education in State
schools is in line with the policy of democratisation and providing for more equity.
• Availability of quality education to rural areas by location of schools in such places as Terre
Rouge, Triolet, Riviere, du Rempart, Souillac, Goodlands, Centre de Flacq, Rose Belle, Bambous
and Mahebourg.

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• In consequence less privileged parents and students have gradually greater access to amenities.
• Existing secondary schools and Junior schools have been expanded and consolidated.
• All junior secondary schools are provided with the necessary infrastructure to cater for students
up to Form V and for a wide range of cultural activities as well as specialist rooms for some
subjects.
• Concerning the 12 Junior secondary schools built under the World Bank Education Project;
experts have said that the facilities in these schools are among the best in this part of the
hemisphere while they have been staffed by well qualified, trained and Mauritius Institutes of
Education diplomates.
• Arrangements made for the opening of JSS in Rodrigues.
• Vocational and Training centres are set up under the close attention of UNESCO and the World
Bank.

2.7 Occupational & Vocational Training (The Central Training Office)


Training was an important objective of the policy. More emphasis was laid on technical and vocational
orientation to meet the needs of a fast developing society. Our educational system had to be molded in
such a way to meet the needs of the job market and this report attempted to deal with these
challenges.
Employment was estimated to increase for the Plan Period 1975 – 1980. This is illustrated in the figure
below.

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40,000
36,000
35,000

30,000

25,000
20,000
20,000

15,000
11,000 10000
10,000

5,000

0
15 - 24 Years > 25 Years

Male Female

Legislation about training existed with the Apprenticeship Act No 9 and the Trade Proficiency Act 1972.
Training was given in a haphazard manner without a systematic approach. However, there was no
coordination between the various stakeholders involved for training.
The institutions that were responsible for training are listed as:
• MOE and Cultural Affairs
• Schools of Nursing
• Hotel & catering Schools
• Telecommunication Sector
• Private Sector
• Development Works Corporation
• Municipalities
• Handicraft Training Sector
Due to this unorganised way, training was not satisfactory, which is why The Central Training Office was
created in 9978. The duties of the CTO are:
• To monitor the needs for occupational training
• Provide for continuous review of employment opportunities
• Coordinate the training programmes sponsored by various ministries and agencies
• Administer training institutions if required
• Initiate new training programmes as and when required

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Occupational training was considered as an important avenue to enhance the chances of finding a
suitable job.

2.8 Cultural & International Aspects


A decent attempt was made to mauritianise the educational system in the island to maintain the multi-
lingual, multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious heritage. The curriculum, syllabus, examination
and assessment modes were reviewed to adapt them to the needs of our society, for example the
syllabus for Mauritian History was modified for F4 – F6.

The impact of the British colonies could still be felt. The MIE was given the responsibility of looking at
the various aspects of Mauritian history and culture. Opportunities to the study of music, dance and
cultural manifestation were provided. Mauritian Maison D’Edition became a reality with close
collaboration between international institutions (Nathan and MacMillan) and the local expertise. This
encouraged Mauritian to write materials that were more suitable our educational system.

2.9 Conclusion
Sir Kher Jagatsingh was a fitting symbol of culture and education. He had many great accomplishments
to his credit and had made a sterling contribution to the building of the Mauritian society.
He has his imprint both in Government and in the Labour Party while serving as Cabinet Minister and
Secretary General.
His contribution towards the emancipation of the masses and the political, social and economic
development of the country has been positive and significant.
With the passing away of Sir Kher Jagatsingh in the morning of Thursday 18th July 1985 in London,
Mauritius lost one of its most illustrious son and a pillar of the Mauritian society.

“I believe that one of the objectives of education in Mauritius is to preserve the Mauritian cosmopolitan
personality and the uniqueness of the average Mauritian as an open, sensitive human being. The
Mauritian remains a versatile person with an extraordinary ability to adapt himself and the education
system must ensure the full flowering of this aspect of his personality.”
Honorable Kher Jagatsingh

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