Dans une lettre ouverteadressée à la minitre de l’Éducation par la Students’ Union de l’Université de Maurice, postée sur la page Facebook de cette association d’étudiants le 17 mai, l’union décrie la mauvaise qualité de l’éducation nationale et déplore la pression mise par le ministère pour que les élèves remplissent le quota de présence. Il soulève aussi les difficultés que rencontrent les jeunes pour trouver un emploi après le HSC, ou même après avoir obtenu un diplôme. Nous reproduisons ici in extenso la lettre :
An Open Letter to the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research
I am writing this letter to you not because I am trying to pursue or introduce an idea or put my idea against the current ideas on this sensible matter. I am neither against something nor in favour of anything. I wish to emphasize that I intend no disrespect either towards the Government, to the minister, to professionals, or to you personally.
A new document from the Ministry of Education was sent to all colleges on Monday 08 May 2017. The document mentions that this year the attendance rate for the School Certificate (SC) and Higher School Certificate (HSC) examinations will be calculated until June 30th. Students who do not comply with these regulations should fulfill payment well in advance of the exams. The government subsidizes only those who are at their first attempt and those who receive social benefits. The costs vary between Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000 for examinations of the SC and between Rs 11,000 and Rs 14,000 for those of the HSC.
Another document from the ministry mentions that the absence of students in the afternoons will be listed as a “half-day absence”. This document was sent to college at the end of the first quarter which makes it unreasonable to apply.
There is a reason why students are absent from schools. Too much emphasis has been placed on private tuition whether it’s in primary or secondary schools. It is no secret that private tuition is one of the causes that teachers, especially some from State Schools, do not give the maximum of themselves. For example, some teachers find it even difficult to complete past papers and tutorials for our SC and HSC students at school!
A contrast should be made between quality of education and quantity of education. A student will pass his examinations without private tuition but it seems that relying just on some of our elite public serving teachers is not enough to pass with good grades and parents are compelled to send their children for private tutoring to help them increase the quality of their results. Our Education System has failed since long!
HSC can be regarded as the link bridge between Tertiary and Secondary Education. Students should be able to acquire a set of skills that will not only help them with their education but also develop self-discipline and prepare themselves for the real world.
The mandatory 90% attendance in college has been a highly debatable subject. Why need for mandatory attendance? Students who are working hard to get the high grades will either learn rapidly by attending classes regularly or can simply do self-study on their own rather if they see that the classes are not to their expectations. Teachers should encourage students to attend all classes so that they have an overview on the explanations but the students must be given the freedom to decide which classes they shall attend.
Students have the right and responsibility to prioritize their own time and I think it is unfair for not possessing 90% attendance if they favour self-study. Does the government expect SC/HSC students that have not been able to rely on their self-study to thrive at Tertiary level?
Instead of focusing of regulating attendance of students at HSC and SC level, the government should work on the setting up of Quality Assurance system to ensure that proper teaching materials and lessons are being properly delivered by teachers at both secondary and primary level. The Cartel of private tutors needs to end.