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Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research

Secondary Admissions

YEAR 2011

(No. B/350) Mrs L. Ribot (Third Member for Stanley and Rose Hill) asked the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms whether he will state if the new minimum criteria for admission into Lower VI conform with the minimum entry requirement at School Certificate level for recruitment in the public sector.
Mr Gungah: Mr Speaker, Sir, I am informed that the criteria for admission into Lower VI, that is, a Cambridge School Certificate with three credits instead of four credits as in the past, conforms with the existing minimum entry requirements with respect to grades at certain levels in the public sector.
However, currently, for post requiring a Higher School Certificate as a minimum, the candidate should hold a School Certificate with five credits.
I wish to inform the House that a Committee chaired by my Ministry is working on the review of the qualification requirement in schemes of service for entry grades in the civil service and will address any issue related to this matter
Mrs Ribot: Mr Speaker, Sir, I would like to know from the hon. Minister if it means that, valeur du jour, holders of HSC or 2 ‘A’ levels with 2 credits at SC level are not going to be recruited in the public sector?
Mr Gungah: No. In fact, as I said, certain grades in the public sector are recruited with the existing criteria for admission, that is, 3 SC levels.
Mr Obeegadoo: Mr Speaker, Sir, we are referring to clerical grades, of course, which is the ambition of everybody holding a School Certificate. I would like to ask the Minister when this committee at the level of his Ministry was set up.
Mr Gungah: This committee was set up long before the Minister of Education came with the new criteria for admission. The committee has been working regularly. It is chaired by my Ministry and…
Mr Speaker: No, when the committee was set up, that’s all. There is no need to give the composition.
Mr Obeegadoo: My question is: what is the objective of this committee?
Mr Speaker: I think the Minister has replied to this question.
Mr Obeegadoo: May I then know whether it is the intention of Government to bring amendments to the regulations concerning…
Mr Speaker: The committee is sitting and looking into the matter. Next question, hon. Mrs Ribot!
Mrs Ribot: Mr Speaker, Sir, the hon. Minister said certain grades are going to admit students having 3 SC levels. I would like to know what about those having 2 SC levels?
Mr Gungah: Mr Speaker, Sir, some entry grades require a bare Cambridge School Certificate, that is, either one credit or 5 passes, inclusive of English language or 2 credits and 3 passes, including English language.
Mr Speaker: Next question, Dr. Boolell!

(No. B/364) Mr S. Obeegadoo (Third Member for Curepipe & Midlands) asked the Minister of Education and Human Resources whether, in regard to the criteria of two or three credits obtained for School Certificate for admission to the Higher School Certificate, he will -
(a) state -
(i) the number of students possessing three credits who have attempted/passed the Higher School Certificate in 2010 and
(ii) the number thereof possessing such qualifications registered this year for Higher School Certificate and
(iii) if the Public Service Commission has been requested to alter entry requirements at School Certificate for recruitment in the Public Sector, and
(b) for the benefit of the House, obtain from the Private Secondary Schools Authority, information as to if it has issued a letter to the private secondary schools regarding same.
Reply: As the House is aware, my Ministry has successfully implemented the measure announced in the Government Programme 2010-2015 to improve access to upper secondary education of those students who have completed the S.C./G.C.E. ‘O’ level. This measure which involved a review of criteria for admission to Lower VI was approved by Government on 28 January 2011 and has provided new opportunities for a greater number of students to have access to upper secondary by introducing more flexibility in the system without compromising on the quality of education and its outputs.
With regard to part (a) (i) of the question, 351 students with 3 credits sat for H.S.C in 2010 and 148 passed. In addition, 59 candidates obtained a G.C.E. Award with 2 or 3 ‘A’ levels out of the 351 students who sat for the H.S.C. examinations.
As for part (a) (ii), the relevant information on students having passed the S.C. with three credits and promoted to Lower Six this year is being compiled.
As regards part (iii) of the question, my colleague, the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms has just replied to Parliamentary Question No. B/350 which directly relates to the subject.
Concerning the last part of the question on the circular issued by the PSSA, the reply is in the affirmative. In fact, in the wake of the decision to review the criteria for promotion to Lower Six, we had informed Heads of Schools that taking into consideration the competitive employment market conditions and future employment prospects, students should be encouraged to improve their overall S.C./G.C.E. ‘O’ Level qualifications while they are in Lower/Upper Six
during the two year period.
I wish also to inform the House that in April 2004, the Ministry had issued a Circular letter to Heads of Schools advising students having been promoted to Lower Six in 2004 but who had ‘Passes’ in subjects like English, French, Mathematics to sit for the ‘O’ level examinations in the relevant subject to obtain a credit therein in the course of the two year period.
However, that Circular was limited in that it focused on upgrading of ‘Pass’ to ‘Credit’ in specific subjects rather than the need to upgrade the overall S.C./G.C.E. ‘O’ level qualifications.
This Government has gone beyond the 2004 Circular issued to students which advised them, to only upgrade their ‘Pass’ to a ‘Credit’ in a specific subject. This year, in parallel with the implementation of the decision to review the admission criteria to Lower Six, we have recommended that, in the interest of the students and to enhance their future employment prospects, they upgrade their overall ‘O’ Level qualifications.
As pointed out at earlier, last year some 207 out of the 351 students having 3 credits at S.C. Level have passed the H.S.C. and obtained a G.C.E. Award with at least 2 subjects at ‘A’ Level, which is the minimum entry requirement to universities.
We are confident that still more students with 3 credits promoted to Lower Six this year, will be able to pass the H.S.C. or obtain a G.C.E. with at least 2 ‘A’ Levels in 2012 and at the same time upgrade their overall ‘O’ Level qualifications.

Mr A. Ameer Meea (Second Member for Port Louis Maritime & Port Louis East): Tonight, I shall address an issue to the hon. Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research. It is in relation to the admission of pupils in Form I for secondary schools.
As she is aware, this is scheduled for Monday 12 December and this coincides with the celebration of Yaum Un Nabi. So, I will ask the hon. Minister if this admission can be extended until Tuesday for those parents who have not been able to admit their children to the schools on the 12th could do so the next day.
Thank you.
The Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and
Scientific Research (Mrs L. D. Dookun-Luchoomun): Mr Deputy Speaker, Sir, I have been informed about this issue and the Ministry is taking care of that issue. We will look into the matter.
(8.10 p.m.)