Moving abroad with a family can be daunting when it comes to your kids education!
After all, what kind of education can you expect from an island in the Indian Ocean? Well, think again: Mauritian schools offer some of the top internationally recognised school programmes, both in English and French. Here is a broad overview of what you can expect.
In the starting blocks: Pre-primary schools
If your child’s very first steps into the schooling system terrify you, comfort yourself in the fact that many nurseries and pre-primary schools around Mauritius work according to international standards.
Increasingly popular today is the Montessori system, which nurtures independent learning based on the belief that children feel an intuitive pull towards learning from their environment. While this approach is still relatively new to Mauritius, it is growing rapidly due to popular demand and schools across the island have begun to base their program on the Montessori system. Examples include l’Ile aux Enfants on the West Coast, Little Judy in the South and Montessori Kids’ Paradise in the East, among others.
Jumping in: Primary schools
Mauritius has a well-established network of international schools that have been around for decades. Parents even have the possibility to choose from different teaching languages (English or French) and programmes.
French speakers will feel at home at the Lycée Labourdonnais in Curepipe, l’Ecole du Centre in Moka, l’Ecole du Nord in Mapou or at Ecole Paul & Virginie in Black River. English-medium schools include Clavis International Primary School in Moka, which offers the Primary Year Programme (PYP) in preparation for the International Baccalaureate, International Preparatory School in the North and Alexandra House School in Floreal.
They grow up so fast: Secondary Education
In Mauritius, private schools have worked hard to develop internationally recognised accreditations to build independent, learned young adults out of their students.
Le Bocage International School, for instance, was created almost thirty years ago as the first establishment offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. Today, they are joined by Northfields International High School, who also allow students to opt for O- and A-levels according to their needs and abilities. IB schools also provide outstanding extra-curricular activities including Model United Nations (MUN) and the Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Among French-medium secondary schools, the Lycée Labourdonnais in Curepipe stands out as the first to be built in Mauritius, back in the 1950s. Middle- and high-school goers attend the same establishment. In Moka, the Collège Pierre Poivre and Lycée des Mascareignes separate middle- and high-schoolers but offer continuous programmes according to French standards. These schools follow the internationally recognised syllabus issued by the French Ministry of Education. On their way out, your children will be fully equipped to tackle the challenges of French Universities and Ecoles.
Into the real world: Higher Education
In recent years, the options for tertiary education in Mauritius have grown tenfold compared to the possibilities only a few decades ago. The reputable University of Mauritius offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the various fields. The university is particularly well recognised for its departments of agriculture and biological sciences.
Those who seek an international diploma do not have to stray from the island. International institutions like the university of Middlesex, Curtin University in Australia, l’Université Paris-Dauphine and Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas have also entered partnerships with local institutions to provide internationally recognised diplomas under their names. The Charles Telfair Institute in Moka, for instance, offers degrees and diplomas in the Arts, Commerce, Interior Design and Software Development, among others. All courses are given in partnership with Curtin University or TAFE in Western Australia, which are internationally recognised institutions with the highest standards of education. Students may even opt to do part of their undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in Mauritius and complete their final year at the partner university in Australia.
The options for tertiary study are numerous and still growing, from law degrees to business and marketing qualifications, to masters in hospitality management, marketing and architecture, among others.
Picking a school
With all of these options for your kid, how do you choose the best one? In general, the teacher-to-child ratio is a tip-off as to how much attention your child will be getting. Other factors like outdoor facilities, location from home, infrastructure or an affinity for one system over others may affect your decision.
In the end, know that no matter your choice of schooling, your child is in good hands and can still receive an internationally recognised education in Mauritius.