So finally the Government has decided to tackle the laureate system. Many I am sure have been waiting for this to happen, even if not quite in that way.
The major change consists of increasing the number of scholarships from 30 to 300. However, the scholarships, will be for undergraduate studies at the University of Mauritius. Moreover, those scholarships will be distributed on a region-wise basis. These are the three main changes affecting the system.
What I think on the matter: The increase from 30 to 300 scholarships is a good one. However, the 30 ones should have remained for studies abroad and the additional ones be granted for studies locally, at an institution of the person’s choice. Why only the University of Mauritius? We have the DCDM and other institutions. I suppose instead of making everything free for them at UoM, a certain sum of money could be given to these students. And don’t forget the facility problem we have at UoM. Well, maintaining the 30 scholarships for studies abroad might cost too much in the end. Can’t they reduce 30 to 10? 10 scholarships for studies abroad and 290 for studies locally?
Furthermore, you can’t force 300 laureates to study here. UoM, I am sure will not offer all the courses these students would choose to undertake. Full MBBS (Medicine)? Aeronautical Engineering?
And distributing those scholarships on a regional basis? Why? HSC exams are undertaken on a national level! Everyone sits for the same papers, so everyone should get an equal chance at those scholarships. I understand maybe the Government wants to give the less fortunate people of certain areas of the country a chance but really it, does not suit a laureate system.
Also, like my little brother pointed out to me, ‘VI 3’ students, that is, those sitting for the HSC exams for the second time must not be allowed to compete. It is not fair for the others sitting for the first time! For obvious reasons!
Anyway, no major decisions have been made yet. There was only a brainstorming session so far. I trust the Minister of Education is listening to all parties and a more proper change will then take place. Because really a change is indeed needed. I, for one, appreciate the Government’s initiative for change.