Contact Person: Mr Ken Cathan
Tel: (230)466 1940
Fax: (230)454 1037
Postal Address: Centre for Distance Education, Reduit, Mauritius
Date: 29th June 1999
The Mauritius Institute of Education was established in 1978 while the
formal distance education courses were initiated in 1993 and the Centre for Distance
Education was established.
Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE) The course is for
in-service primary school teachers and is a two-year certificate course. There are
approximately 400 students on the course.
The curriculum consists of the subjects that are taught in school as
well as English, French, Maths and oriental languages. The curriculum will be changing as
a result of the introduction of the Action Plan for a New Education System in
Mauritius: Pre-School, Primary School, Middle School and College Education.
Certificate in Educational Management (CEM) This course was
started approximately 2 years ago in 1997 for Deputy Head Teachers.
The CEM is a two year certificate course consisting of 7 modules
covering the following topics: A Foundation module giving a general introduction to
management principles; Self Development and Leadership, Managing Communication, Managing
Learning and the Curriculum, Managing Teams and Team Building, Managing Change, Planning
and School Effectiveness.
A new diploma course in Education to follow on from the ACE will be
available in the second half of 1999 (duration will be 1 year), while an Advanced
Certificate in Education Management (ACEM) for Head Teachers will be available in 2000.
The duration of this course should be two years, but MIE is under pressure from the unions
to condense it into one year.
The rationale for offering all these courses is to ensure that a
maximum number of professionals undergo professional development.
Modes and Technologies
All courses consist of printed course materials, course booklets. In
some modules audio-visual aides are available. There are no computer-based resources. The
learners have poor access to technology and are mainly computer illiterate. As most of the
learners are of a more advanced age, they are very traditional and generally not
interested in learning to operate computers.
On all programmes learners are offered monthly meetings, known as
face-to-face sessions. These sessions are not meant to be lectures but sessions at which
students are meant to discuss problems and difficulties, however the session do sometimes
turn out as lecturers. There are approximately 50 to 100 students per lecturer, depending
on the programme. The sessions for the ACEM are a full day and the CEM half a day. The
learners have to be released from their schools to attend.
The assessment takes the form of take-home assignments, questionnaires
and on-the-spot assignments (examinations). There is no teaching practice course in the
ACE and due to logistics there is no assessment of teaching practice.
The Mauritius Department of Curriculum and independent evaluators
evaluate the programmes. Discussions have been held on quality assurance issues, but it is
felt that possibly external guidance may be necessary.
There is limited funding available for professional development as well
as limited information being fed through to staff. There is a staff of 12 at the Centre
and there is a need for all members to upgrade. Internal professional development is
available and this is not dependent on funding.
and Hindering Factors
Theoretically the new action plan should be enabling but there are
contradictions within the action plan and it is difficult to put policy into theoretical
frameworks. Funding of the Centre is hindering in that funds are need for human and
technological resources. Administrative red tape is also a restraint.