The Privilege of Education

Life in developing countries is often characterized by hardship and sacrifice. The mere essentials of life, such as clean drinking water, square meals, basic shelter and adequate clothing can, in fact, be a luxury. On paper, most Constitutions would spell out such essentials, along with education and healthcare, as fundamental rights. In actual fact, these rights are unattainable to the masses in these countries. In these countries, many opt to fight for these rights, even waging bloody wars to survive and to avail of these rights. In many of the world’s most impoverished and least-developed corners, the knowledge to read a road sign or to write your own name, could be among the greatest of pleasures. We, in the Maldives, are today living in a very different world. Functional literacy has, for decades, been universal in our country. Primary education, too, has been state-sponsored and universal. The rights of the girl child too have been greatly boosted by the fact that they are not discriminated in attaining education. MDGs related to education were all attained, well in advance of most developing countries. As a society, our progress can today be gauged accurately by analyzing our priorities in the education sector. The challenge for today’s government is to provide higher education opportunities for a greater percentage of school leavers. Today, the government is offering 14 years of free education for all. No payments for books, no fees for exams!

With the government’s recent decision, Maldives has now become the first country in the entire region to provide fourteen years of schooling for free – from four years till eighteen, your child’s education is in the trustworthy hands of the numerous government schools, which are operating in all corners of the island nation.

As part of the administration’s aims to build youth who are well educated and trained, several changes have already been brought to the education sector of the country. As such, they have introduced several programs like B-Tech, TVET and even Vocational Training programmes, keeping in mind that not every student would be book smart or bring perfect grades all the time.

The government’s strenuous efforts in providing quality education for all have also seen them funding pre-schools to assist in their administrative needs as well as providing the salary of pre-school teachers. In addition to that, an aid of MVR 1 million was distributed among select pre-schools each year for the development of their infrastructure and to acquire necessary equipment.

One of the key pledges of the current administration was to provide education for all students; regardless their living conditions and financial status. For President Abdulla Yameen, it was essential for everyone to have access to basic education – and this decision will definitely make sure that it happens – a plan that makes sure no child gets left behind in their pursuit for education.

  • 14 years of schooling for free
  • Modern curriculum framework which includes programs such as B-Tech, TVET and Vocational Training

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