Policy and Programs Program and Sector policy
Policy and Programs

Mauritius Institute of Education
Centre for Distance Education


While collecting information for this global distance education network, SAIDE held several interviews with organisations in Southern African countries. Impressions of each country were generated to give some introduction to distance education and technology use in the area. Each interview has also been written up separately as a case study.

SAIDE country visits conducted in 1999

Permission granted

Contact details

Country: Mauritius
Contact Person: Mr Ken Cathan
E-mail: miestaff@intnet.mu
Tel: (230)466 1940
Fax: (230)454 1037
Postal Address: Centre for Distance Education, Reduit, Mauritius
Date: 29th June 1999

Institution Description

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.

Delivery 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.

Learner Support Strategies

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.

Quality Assurance

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.

Professional Development

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.

Enabling 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.

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