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Education in Maldives

Education in Maldives
Education in Maldives

The Maldives provides primary education for all but now needs to raise its quality of education and increase access to secondary and tertiary education in a cost-effective manner.

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Key Challenges

The Maldives faces education challenges typical of small island states, including a shortage of skilled personnel and high costs of delivery across the islands.

Creating a pool of educated workers
The Maldives needs a population with good quality education, including higher education, to provide the managerial and technical skills necessary for it to be globally competitive.
- The country has to rely heavily on foreign labor because the school system does not produce enough quality workers.

Improving the quality of education
The Maldives has successfully addressed the basic challenges of school access at the primary level. However, while literacy is almost total, the quality of education is uneven:
- Learning achievements are mixed.
- Only a small proportion of children leave school with a qualification.

Providing cost-effective education
Both rising expectations and the recent declines in fertility will put pressure on costs. The Government may not be able to offer quality education without consolidating schools:
- The Government intends to make 10 years of education available to all before 2010; the cost of reaching this objective on 138 islands is prohibitive.

Increasing access to higher and tertiary education
- Higher secondary schools are located only on 14 islands.
- An even smaller proportion of young people have access to tertiary education.
- Whereas for primary and lower secondary schools there is no gender bias, for upper secondary and tertiary education there is a bias in favor of boys.

World Bank Support

Better Delivery:
The Integrated Human Development Project aims to: (a) improve social outcomes and promote economic growth by strengthening social services delivery (education, health and nutrition services); (b) reduce poverty and promote regional equity by strengthening social service delivery and increasing economic opportunities in atolls remote from the prosperous Male region; and (c) promote ecologically sustainable development by concentrating services and populations on ecologically viable islands within these atolls.

Increasing Access, Quality, Capacity, and Skills:
The Third Education and Training Project supported the Government’s efforts to improve education quality and efficiency, increase access for disadvantaged groups, strengthen institutional capacity, and develop professional skills in the national labor force. The results were:
- Number of students passing O-level examinations increased from 504 to 1,598.
- Transition from primary to secondary education increased from 60 percent to 88 percent.
- 3,500 teachers were trained.
- A National Assessment Unit and a Management Information System were established.

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