Education Fact Sheet

Minister of Education & Human Resources: Hon. Dr Vasant Kumar Bunwaree

Education System: 6-5-2

Mauritius has a 6+5+2 education structure; that is, six years of free and compulsory primary schooling leading to the Certificate of Primary Education, followed by five years of secondary education leading to the Cambridge School Certificate and a further two years of higher secondary ending with the Cambridge Higher School Certificate.

Examinations at the end of each level regulate the flow of students to the next level.  Pupils sit for national and international examinations at the end of each cycle.  At the primary level, promotion from one grade to the next is automatic until Grade 6, when pupils sit for the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE).  This examination has a dual purpose: that of certification, and selection for entry to a secondary school.  Pupils who are unsuccessful at the CPE examination and under 12 years of age may stay on at primary school for a further year in order to take the examination a second time.  Those who are not successful after a second attempt are provided with an alternative type of education under the Pre-vocational Education Scheme. This consists of a three-year course.

Pre-school Education

Pre-primary education has a long existence in Mauritius and targets children in the 3-5 years’ age range. Attendance is not compulsory at this level.  Since 1996 the government has granted a monthly subsidy of Rs 200 to all children aged 4-5 years. The sector is 83 percent private where the fees charged by schools can range from Rs 200 to Rs 2000 or more per child. The government, through the Preschool Trust Fund, manages the remaining 17 percent, which consists of pre-primary units attached to primary schools. The Preschool Trust Fund also acts as a regulatory body for private pre-primary schools.

Primary Education

Primary schools are scattered all over the island and although there is a higher concentration in urban areas than in rural areas, there is, on average, one primary school in every village, thus ensuring easy access for all children to a primary school. The principle of ‘catchment area’ is often used in order to manage the high demand for admission to certain schools. The primary school day lasts six hours and the school year has 185 days divided into 3 terms.

Secondary Education

Secondary schools were mostly managed by the private sector and catered for 75 percent of the secondary school population.  But in the coming years this picture is likely to change with the massive construction of state secondary schools.

Duration of compulsory education: 12 years

Starting age of compulsory education: 5 years

Ending age of compulsory education: 16 years

Enrolment in 2007*

Gross enrolment rate
Net enrolment rate
Gross enrolment rate
Net enrolment rate

Pupil - Teacher Ratios in 2007*

  • Primary: 21.5 pupils per teacher
  • Secondary: 15.9 pupils per teacher

*latest data as of March 2009 from UNESCO Institute for Statistics.