Budget 2023-2024, as enunciated by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, puts forth measures aimed at providing an inclusive and equitable access to quality education at all levels namely pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
The Finance Minister referred to the announcement made by the Prime Minister to make pre-primary education free for all as from the 1st of January 2024, adding that from the first day of schooling until graduation, education will be free in Mauritius. Funds have been earmarked in budget 2023-2024 for the implementation of this measure.
Other measures include:
• Upgrading of infrastructure of some 100 public pre-primary schools to equip them with the necessary pedagogical materials to promote learning, development and playing.
• Construction of a new pre-primary school in Black River.
With regard to the upgrading and maintenance of school infrastructure, the budget makes provision of Rs 600 million for the following:
• Construction of additional classes for the teaching of Asian languages, a mini gym, a library, a science room and a staff room at the Valetta Government School.
• Reconstruction of six classroom blocks, an ICT room and an administrative block at Rivière des Anguilles Government School.
• Construction of eight new classrooms, an administrative block, library, ICT room, and staircase at Petit Raffray Government School.
• Complete renovation of library, gymnasium and lecture theatre, upgrading of student’s corner and raising of boundary walls at Sookdeo Bissoondoyal State Secondary College.
In line with the Nine-Year Continuous Basic Education Programme, Specialist Rooms for the teaching of Food & Textile Studies and Design & Technology are being constructed in 11 Academies and 25 Regional Secondary Schools.
Regarding the support provided to students with Special Education Needs (SEN), the provision for Grant in Aid to SEN schools will be increased by 23 % to Rs 191 million, which includes provision made to increase the daily meal allowance for each SEN student by 60 % to Rs 120.
Provision is also being made for the minimum eligibility criteria for evening schools running oriental classes to be reviewed from 25 to 10 students per class as per budgetary measure announced.
As for the the teaching staff, the number will be increased by an additional 200 trainee Educators in primary schools; 200 Educators in secondary schools; and 14 Educators to cater for the increasing demand for admission of SEN students; and 50 School Clerks.
Other budgetary measures include the VAT exemption for the construction of a building for the provision of tertiary education to be extended to primary and secondary education.