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Ass. 2

= Ass. 2 Pre vocational Education in Mauritius


The education system in Mauritius can mainly be divided into pre primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education. The pre-primary education in Mauritius that starts at the age of 3 is provided by both govt. run schools and private aided schools. However, more than 75% of the playschools in Mauritius are privately run. Primary education in Mauritius starts at the age of six. In order to successfully complete the primary education one needs to pass a national examination, Certificate of Primary Education (CPE). One can start secondary and prevocational education in Mauritius after passing the CPE examination. In the secondary level the number of private schools is much higher than govt. run schools. When students finish Form IV they need to take an O- level examination. The A- level examination can be taken after completing Form VI and seven years of secondary education. Both the O-Level and A-Level examinations are carried out by the University of Cambridge. Tertiary education institutes in Mauritius can be found in both private and public sectors or even offering option of pursuing distance education in Mauritius. The republic of Mauritius has undertaken to ensure provision of educational facilities to students till they the reach the maturity age of 16 to enter the world of work. In this context the pre-vocational sector caters for around 4,000 students ejected at the end of the primary cycle, in view of their inability to meet the established benchmark for promotion to the mainstream in the secondary sector. There is a great need to provide further learning opportunities and equal facilities to this category of students who tends to show cognitive delays.


It is primordial to understand and love the human being within the person of the student. This category has been unable to satisfy certain expectations academically but we should remember that each individual is endowed with infinite capacities lying in a potential state and awaiting to unfurl and blossom. Teachers need to provide the necessary conditions and environment to enable the student to experience learning and get to discover himself / herself. This is a sacred duty since teachers will be facilitating the evolution of an individual. Resourcefulness, creativity, flexibility, team approach and dynamism are essentially required from the entire teaching personnel for this kind of learning process. A bank of teaching – learning materials, provision for regular display of students’ work, group work and exposure to actual life situations and the world of work are indispensable to facilitating learning. The sense of togetherness and team spirit among teachers will be a gigantic step.


with a child-centred and need-based orientation, this curriculum material has been formulated with a view to ensure continuation of educational provision for children, aged l2-15 years, who could not achieve the established grades at the end of Primary Schooling (after 2 sittings or one sitting but are overaged to stay in a primary school) to obtain access to the main stream of secondary education. This curriculum aims at furthering learning opportunities for each individual, irrespective of his/her level of achievements or past learning history with a fresh start. It therefore offers learning opportunities to master essential competencies to ensure literacy and numeracy. The take off of any activity organised along the guidelines developed with in this curriculum framework, is based on active participatory learning. In general, it advocates for a holistic approach to developing and enhancing skills required to lead a practically fruitful day to day school life. Closely linked to actual life experiences, this curriculum offers a user-friendly learning programme which easily fits with each student’s ability and learning pace. Self-learning, peer learning and group learning through a non-academic-achievement focused approach is expected to motivate every learner to develop competencies in a relatively relaxed, competition free and pleasant learning environment. A very important element included in the curriculum guidelines is related to the development of the individual himself. The understanding of the individual and pedagogical approach advocated here strongly promotes:
  • The re-establishment of self-esteem,
  • Recognition and acceptance of one's own role and contribution in the social set up without any complex, inhibitions or suppressed emotions,
  • The understanding of one's value as an individual endowed with inherent capacities lying in a potential state and awaiting to unfurl and blossom.
  • Learnability enabling adaptation to future vocational training.

It is not only expected to relieve the child from the painful impressions of incapacity, failure, subjugation to fear, shame and comparison with academically successful peers or family members. It also aims at developing a liking for schooling and kindling interest for further learning. The curriculum is therefore oriented towards:

  •     Growth and development of the student into physically, mentally and emotionally healthy individual, 
  •      Development of functional literacy and numeracy to open access to onward learning, vocational training or apprenticeship.
  •     Preparation for development of life skills to later enabling him/her to grow into an economically productive person who can earn a respectful living and is well-informed of developments in his environment.


Curriculum Goals

This student-friendly curriculum aims at promoting and supporting opportunities for the young learners to:

  • develop self-confidence and be motivated to learn through new approaches,
  • use language to understand and communicate information, express themselves and efficiently interact with others in society,
  • use and apply numerical, size and space concepts tasks and logical thinking in real life situations,
  • apply knowledge, skills and resources in the development of practical solutions to basic technological situations,
  • develop creative skills and an aesthetic outlook for life,
  • develop an understanding of the human body, and its functioning and cultivate a healthy life style,
  • value and implement practices that promote the growth of a person, his/her safety and well being,
  • use basic IT equipment,
  • make proper use of media to communicate and handle information
  • develop a scientific outlook and approach to living,
  • be aware of his/her rights and responsibilities as a learner and a consumer,
  • get an insight into existing opportunities in the job market and further learning avenues for economic sufficiency,
  • develop understanding of how individuals and groups interact and live in harmony together with their immediate environment and the environment at large,
  • be able to work and function individually and collaboratively in a multicultural context,
  • become responsible citizens recognising their own rights and responsibilities while respecting the rights of others.

Contact Hours

To be consistent with the aims and methodology, the formula for teaching time allocated for theoretical knowledge and practical skills of the Learning areas is as follows:

Period Theory Active/learning
Year 1 30% 70%
Year 2 40% 60%
Year 3 50% 50%

 As from the 3rd Year, teaching learning will be carried out on a subject-wise basis, punctuated with on the field observation and experience, contrary to the initial two years which focus on thematic approach of learning and activity based learning.

Learning Areas

Given that a curriculum should be generally quantifiable, achievable and measurable, the traditional device to group concepts on a discipline-wise basis could not be totally avoided. The concepts have hence been clustered under different Learning Areas. This was essential in order to:

  •    facilitate the implementation of a programme of learning-activities along the objectives established by the users and Teachers ,
  •   ensure purposeful and progressive activities in the teaching-learning process,
  • enable diagnostic assessment and recording of individual achievement,
  • justify certification to be based on the competencies developed.
  • rationalise and coordinate learning activities across schools and sectors.

At no point in time, should the fact be overlooked that the specific objectives are written essentially for the purpose mentioned above. There is a shift in the paradigm from traditional academic elitist educational goals to a child-centred and need-based learning, preparing an individual to become functional socially, pragmatic and learnable.


In order to sustain the spirit underlying the philosophical foundations of education in this stream, it has been found that the teaching-learning process will be significantly, if not totally, different from the practice in the main stream in secondary schools.

This is why the training program focuses on the following:-

  •  developing insight into understanding the child.
  • exposing the new curiculum guidelines formulated for pre-vocational education. 
  •  developing skills enabling planning and provision of active and participatory learning by linking learning to life experiences.
  •  getting equipped for individual support to each student all along the process.
  • dispensing remedial action inbuilt within activities.    

Hence the three major stakeholders - teaching staff, officers leading the educational service and the team entrusted with monitoring quality have been considered as the main beneficiaries of the training scheme.


The specific objectives to be attained through this training scheme, would englobe

  • developing an insight into the whole philosophy underlying educational provision for these children.
  • equipping teachers with necessary pedegogical skills and dynamic planning for need-based learning strategies.
  • enabling institutionally in-built school based training to generate a conducive work culture and apply action learning strategies to quickly sort out pedagogical difficulties encountered.
  • alignment of the training programme of teachers with certification within a career path.
  • ensuring an in-built feedback system and monitoring device with appropriate tools to ensure regular evaluation of the success of the training programme and its impact on the teaching learning process as well as student performance output.

Training Strategy

An overall training scheme for teachers and other staff involved in catering for the schools/Units providing learning opportunities for children in the pre-vocational education stream in secondary schools, comprises of: 1. An Initial Pre Service Training Programme of 12 days duration will be conducted to expose teachers to the new curriculum materials and develop basic skills to enable teaching in pre-voc classes. For this a prioritised list of modules has been devised so as to cater for the immediate needs of teachers of pre-voc classes. 2. After the pre-service training programme, teachers are exposed to a one-day every month regular In service Training programme. This aims at sharing good practices, discussing difficulties and finding solutions, as well as planning future learning activities or strategies. It also plays an important role in regular monitoring of progress. 3. Diploma in Pre-Vocational Education has been organised with a view to consolidate teacher competencies and develop skills related to the pre-voc stream. 4. A Teachers' certificate as a one-off programme has been envisaged to prepare teachers who do not meet the necessary entry requirements to later enroll for the Diploma in Pre-vocational Educational Course. 5. Adhoc training programmes based on the needs of teachers, such as adolescent literacy, student performance evaluation/recording/reporting etc are envisaged so as to develop related skills to further enrich and equip teachers with necessary tools and know how, sort out common pedagogical issues and so on.

Approach to training

1. Around 40% of the training is carried for the theoretical framework and the remaining 60% dedicated to practical participatory workshops in small groups focusing on insight and skill development. 2. Regular observation and analysis of the training is required so as to provide the required service. 3. Setting up a Monitoring Team assigned with specific duties to ensure follow up of training programme and provide pedagogical support to teachers in schools and for quality assurance. This team is regularly formulating and updating necessary tools to assist them in their functions. 4. Adopt a capacity building approach to ensure follow-up, a multiplying effect of efforts and adequacy of manpower for problem solving and enhancement in pedagogical skills and technical knowhow. 5. Extending the Training Programme to the staff of Rodrigues involved in this scheme. 6. Instituting an in-built school-based staff development work culture.


The above training strategy will ensure the following: -

  •  An organized training scheme to cover the teacher work force in the pre-voc sector.
  • Establishing benchmarks in terms of skilled manpower and upgrading scheme.
  • Enable enforcing a performance appraisal system, allocate grades to teachers in terms of performance which is highly desired tool for promotion purposes.
  • Linking training to a career path.
  • Entitlement to training to any teacher who joins the pre-voc stream for acquaintance with the new curriculum and related pedagogy.
  • Eventual possibility for all pre-voc teachers to teach either as a class teacher or subject teachers thus facilitating posting/transfer of teachers, time table arrangements, establishing a balanced workload etc...         
  • Quality service in state and private sector schools, through a common strategy for an equally trained teaching staff
Type of Training / No. of Trained Teachers - January 2004


Detailed objectives related to the content have been clustered under the following six Learning Areas which have then been coded, so as to facilitate the task of Teachers concerning the regular elaboration of a Work Record and also record students' performance and achievements.

Codes Learning areas
CS Communication skills
FM Functional Mathematics
E Environment
ISTS Integrated Science and Technological skills
CPA Creative and Performing Arts
SD Self Development

 Socialisation, patriotism, living values, understanding the human behaviour and civics will permeate the learning activities organised to develop those concepts.


Considering the conceptual framework of this approach, the teaching-learning process is mostly oriented towards the following:

  •  A holistic teaching approach,
  •  Learning through self-experience,
  •  Activity-based learning,
  •  Project work approach,
  •  Group activities,
  •  Peer learning,
  •  Learning on the field ,
  •  In-built remedial learning

A specific mode of assessment and reporting system based entirely on achievements and not mastery of prescribed syllabus has been devised within the perspective of this curriculum. The conceptual framework of this new mode of student performance evaluation focuses on the following: Achievement oriented approach.

  • Continuous assessment through the Student Learning Card.
  • Competency based system.
  • Competencies developed and knowledge acquired rather than relativity to what should be achieved.
  • Elimination of fixed time constraints for examination purposes in the first two years.
  • Reduced effect of language barrier in evaluation.
  • Competition free evaluation.
  • Provision for immediate remedial action.

The integration of Pre-vocational year III students in the different IVTB Training Centres has been facilitated. The modules offered to students in IVTB are listed below:

1 Communication skills (English and French) 190
2 Mathematics 110
3 Technical Drawing 90
4 Information Technology* 40

5 Basic Workshop Skills 55
6 Automechanics 55
7 Basic Electricity 55
8 Plumbing and Pipe Fitting 55
9 Wood Trades 55

Sewing skills





Note 1: Extra Curricular Activities 30


Some of the activities for early Pre-vocational students in secondary institutions are as follows:

 1. Time Concepts and the understanding of being on time and ready for a work period. Mastery of scheduling can be a significant part of any pre-vocational program. There is much to be done in this area of development.

2. Preparation for a work period. Going to a designated "work" place, (even a table designated for work-oriented tasks), and getting out and later putting away necessary materials should be reinforced.

3. Following simple spoken and or written directions. This may include pictorial guides. This element would focus on the understanding of sequential events. What happens first, next, and last. It also includes language development in general. Responding to one-step directions, then two-steps, three steps and so on. It may also include taking notes or being able to relate information previously given, (like a receptionist). Memory games and songs are a good way to build these skills.

4. Discrimination of objects: by color, shape, and size. Sorting between two different elements, then three, then four...

5. Learning about increasing productivity - placing materials in sequence to be assembled, timed tasks, improvement of on-task behaviors, etc.

6. Vocational Awareness - Learning about different types of occupations and the skills basic to those jobs. Visiting work settings and role-playing are great exercises in this area. For the younger students, dress-up play allows the teacher to determine interests and even the understanding a student may have about their "chosen" occupation. Making collages, watching videos, and other simulation exercises are also effective teaching tools. A classroom store, a student postal system, classroom assignments such as feeding fish, taking out trash, cleaning chalkboards, restacking books, and so forth are also good to teach responsibility and work ethics.

There are a wide variety of tasks that can be available to students on a regular basis.

  • Assembly: Puzzles, shape boards, beads, handlooms, and of course other hand made craft projects.
  • Packaging: Putting objects in boxes, stacking, putting items in plastic Baggies and envelopes, etc.
  • Counting items: Using counting boards- Cardboard marked with small squares on which items are placed, filling up egg cartons, (one item in each impression), the same thing can be done with small bowls or cups. Or place two - three- or four small objects in each cup.
  • Using small hand tools - stapling, tacking with a hammer, cutting with scissors, hand stamping notes or envelopes, electric pencil sharpeners, hole punchers, etc.
  • If there are multiple steps in a task, always break it down. Much research has been done in the area of successfully teaching multiple step activities. If each step is reinforced with praise and other tangible rewards, progress will be made. Consider a token economy with a store day at least once a week. This also reinforces the economic system that drives our country forward.
  • Whenever possible, provide first-hand observations of real-life occupations while on community outings. Some basic vocational areas to consider might include: food preparation, janitorial tasks, money handling, (cashiering), working with paper products, (printing, folding, or collating papers, even recycling), simple assembly, carpentry, landscaping and horticulture activities, (indoor and outdoor plants), arts and crafts, laundry and other general housekeeping jobs.


Pre-vocational students are those that mostly face cognitive delays. Individual learning styles, strengths, interests and needs have to be considered when using various techniques.


1. Individualize instruction by using self-pacing, record keeping software to develop basic math, reading and language skills.

2. Provide opportunities for student creativity and decision-making by using graphic

3. software which allows changes to be made by using “undo” icons.

4. Give students with reading and/or motor difficulties access to the computer keyboard by: - providing a keyguard (prevents unwanted keystrokes) - placing stickers with colours, pictures or larger print on certain target

5. keys (helpful for programs requiring only few keys) altering keyboard features

6. Use alternate input devices such as a mouse, trackball, touch screen or a single switch for specific software use.

7. Use alternate keyboards when simple keyboard adaptations do not work. For example, use programmable expanded keyboards with overlays displaying pictures, symbols, and/or words customized to meet specific student needs.

8. Use software with speech output to improve student’s ability to attend.

Positioning is important when using computer technology. 

students should be comfortably seated with monitor at eye level and input devices at easy reach to decrease fatigue.

9. Use audio and videotape with students for instructional and record-keeping purposes. Teach students to use calculators for relevant daily living activities (eg. grocery shopping, restaurant)

Low and High - Technology Options:

Technological devices used by students with cognitive delays can range from daily low-tech items such as VCRs, calculators, tape recorders or telephones to high-tech computers. Some devices are necessary for developing life skills, independence or communication while others can assist in academic instruction. Technology application should be related to one or more of the student’s educational goals.


 Every day is an opportunity for learning something new. It is one of the things we humans do best. As parents and teachers we are motivated to find ways to teach our sons, daughters, and students the why's and how's of the world. We are eager to hear that first word, to see that first step.

    Most parents and pre-school teachers, however, are not focused on how their four-year-old is going to make a living some day. And teachers of students with severe disabilities, even in elementary and secondary education programs may be reluctant to think about a future that might include some type of independent, "competitive employment".

. It is all about self-reliance and independence. Most adults take it for granted. Our children need to understand this concept, even at a very young age.

    It is unfortunate, in this day and age that the educational system does not take this basic drive more seriously. Most organized learning continues to focus on math and reading concepts, and the basic social skills associated with good classroom behavior. That is all well and good. But even the later often does not take into consideration building work-based relationships. Students are told that they must do "homework" but this is not the same as completing repetitive work-oriented projects. Building work skills should involve group activities, the sharing of information, and a cooperative effort. Perhaps, even more importantly, there should be a payoff, a sense of accomplishment, some acknowledgement that the job was "well done".