Mauritius's National Certificate of Education (NCE) and its Extended Programme are facing criticism from various stakeholders in the education sector. The issue came under the spotlight following a Parliamentary Question by opposition leader Xavier-Luc Duval. On the radio show "Au Cœur de l'Info", Brian Pitchen, a teacher at St-Mary's West College, questioned the fate of the 92% of students who did not pass the Extended Programme, calling for a bilingual system in English and Creole.
A Call for Reform
Arvin Bhojun, president of the Union of Private Secondary Education Employees, criticized the current system for excluding children and damaging their self-confidence. He suggested that the education minister's acknowledgment of the need for a system review indicates poor prior advice.
NCE: An Evaluation, Not an Exam
Chaya Surajbali-Bissoonauth, Acting Director of secondary education, clarified that the NCE is an evaluation for Grade 10 promotion, not an exam. The department has implemented programs for holistic student development, ensuring that all students receive a comprehensive education.
The Political Perspective
Opposition leader Duval raised concerns about the 6,200 students failing the NCE, the impact on their families, and the need for an appropriate exam and curriculum. In response to the criticisms, Education Minister Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun defended the right to nine years of basic education for all children. She emphasized the importance of acquiring basic knowledge before vocational training, expressing optimism that changes will yield better results.