Primary Schools In Mauritius

Everything you need to know about Private Primary Schools in Mauritius

& SECRETS Primary Schools in Mauritius don't want you to know!

I don't have time to read this great article

Just TELL ME which school is the:

Before I get into this, you need to know a little about me…

I'm expat who married a Mauritian. During the 20 years I've been living in Mauritius, my children have attended different English Medium Primary schools and I have worked in a few as a teacher.

I've gone through a lot, heard a lot and seen a lot and I wish to share this priceless information with you because…

The education of your child is so important.

If you're deciding to send your child to a Private Primary school in Mauritius, take a moment to read this.

What you need to realise about Private Primary Schools in Mauritius:

  • They are a BUSINESS FIRST and school second.
  • Every school hates each other . If two schools don't it's because they are owned by the same family/company!
  • They are not of the same quality as private schools in Europe or North America.
  • They are not created equally. They teach the same subjects but at varying quality.
  • They are for the most part, superior to state schools.

Okay. Let's get into it….

All private primary schools in Mauritius are run as a BUSINESS first and school second.

Bums on seat is more important than anything else. On the surface, every school will look like a nice, wholesome environment, however, behind the scenes it is absolutely shocking what some schools will do to get an admission!

It is not uncommon in Mauritius for Private Primary Schools to:

  • Spread malicious rumours about other schools!
  • Destroy another school's sign boards!
  • Open a campus in the same road as a rival school!
  • Cut another school's telephone line!
  • Steal another schools entire curriculum!
  • Copy other schools newsletter, stationary and other printed materials!
  • Change their uniforms and name so that it closely matches their competitor!
  • Pay school van drivers to drop children of another school to their school!
  • Brainwash teachers to leave one school to join theirs!
  • Go door to door and canvas parents!
  • Have tea parties or food parties just to bitch about rival schools!
  • PAY PARENTS COMMISSION or give parents discount when they bring their friends!

What's more…

When you dig a little further…

You will find the owners of these schools have NO QUALIFICATIONS in the Education sector whatsoever!

They're in it, purely for the money .

Having said that…

There are a handful of schools who do put education first but their fees are significantly more.

The BIG MISTAKE parents make when choosing a Primary School in Mauritius

Typically a parent will call up a few schools, visit a few of them and the one that quotes them the cheapest price…9 times out of 10 they join.

BIG MISTAKE!

Why?…

Because the school which has the best salesperson is NOT the best school!

Here are some of the gimmicks some schools will use on parents:

  • FREE Health Check-ups (Would you let your child be examined by a Doctor without you being there? Someone you've never met or spoken too!?!)
  • FREE Dental check-up (This will be promised but never fulfilled)
  • FREE Psychological check up – Really??
  • Admit one child, other child is admitted FREE!

Don't fall for these cheap tricks!

Remember that the goal is to find a school to educate your child, to in still values, compassion, to broaden their mind.

Now your next question might be…

How do I choose the best Primary School for my child?

You could ask other parents right?

WRONG!

You can't trust parents for a recommendation!

In fact, I'll go one step further and say…

DO NOT ask for feedback about a school from a parent whose child attends that school

Why?

Because in Mauritius, parents have a very strange mentality.

  1. If the school is good, they don't want your child to go there! So, they will tell you the school has issues.
  2. If the school is good and your child wants to join, they think the teacher won't be able to give their child any attention! Guess what? They will tell you that school has issues!
  3. If they can't pay the school fees, their attitude towards the school changes. What do you think they are going to say? Yes, that school has major issues!
  4. Some parents are unrealistic! They expect miracles by sending their child to a private school. If a child has no interest in following the class, the school can do very little. I know of a case where a parent sent their child who had a serious video game addiction to a private school expecting the school to "fix" the child. Obviously the school couldn't cure this addiction but that didn't stop the parent bad mouthing that school to everyone!

Because of the attitude of parents on the island, you are alone when it comes to deciding the right school for your child and that's a good thing.

You should choose the school which you think is best and not what someone else tells you.

How To Pick The Best Primary School In Mauritius:

  • Ask the school how many campuses does it have? If it's more than 2, it's a business.
  • Ask the school how many pupils in each class. If it's more than 25, you should be concerned.
  • Ask to see what books the school is using…If it is the same books they use in the Government sector, ask yourself, why am I sending my child to this private school if they are using the same books as the FREE state school?
  • Speak to the head teacher. Do they speak to you in English or Creole? If it's Creole or French, guess what? They are NOT a true English Medium School!
  • When you speak to the head teacher, ask do they have a degree required to be a head teacher? What was their previous working experience? Is it related to Education?
  • If it is an English Medium school does the school have native English speakers working in the school?

The following should worry you:

  • By law, every school needs to insure their pupils. Some schools like to make extra money by charging parents to insure their child. DO NOT PAY the insurance charge. This is a cost which the school has to pay, NOT you!
  • If you go to a supermarket and see kids performing their music day there or putting on any performance, ask yourself, why? Why is a school making their pupils perform in such a public place? They are obviously doing it for exposure. School performances traditionally are held on the school's premises or in an auditorium but not a supermarket! Do not join this type of school!
  • If you go to a supermarket or cinema and you see a booth with teachers handing out flyers and offering discounts obviously this school is chasing money! Do not join this type school! This actually happens in Mauritius the way!

Private Primary Schools In Mauritius RATINGS:

School Rating
International Preparatory School
International Preparatory School Review
Clavis International
Clavis International School Review
Hampton School
Hampton School Review
Alexandra House
Alexandra House School Review
Orchard Kids
Orchard Kids School Review
Cavendish Institute
Cavendish Institute School Review

Alexandra House

Owner
Unknown
Mode of instruction
English
Books
Worksheets Used
Website
www.alexandrahouseschool.com

100% pass rate in National CPE Exams

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Alexandra house is a very well establish English Medium Primary school in the island. As far as I've heard, it delivers a very well rounded education to its pupils. I believe it is the only primary school in Mauritius which is registered as a member of the Council of British International Schools.

FEES

Registration
Rs 51,000
School Fees monthly
Rs 12,750

Rating 4/5:

Cavendish Institute

Ownder & Head teacher
Malika Sookna
Qualified in Education
Not that I am aware
Mode of instruction
Creole
Books
Same as State School
Inside information
Daughter in law of the owner of Arden Primary School. Allegedly left Arden because of fight with mother in law!

100% pass rate in National CPE Exams

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

I came to know of Cavendish Institute, Quatre-Bornes, for all the WRONG reasons. Allegedly, the school was kicked out of its previous premises for NOT PAYING RENT for a very long time! When I heard and read this, I immediately had a very negative picture of Cavendish Institute.

LATEST 2017: A source tells me Cavendish Institute current premises are under investigation by the Local Municipality for irregularities.

Not many parents were willing to share their experiences or thoughts about Cavendish which I found troubling. The school has NO website, NO Facebook page and reveals absolutely nothing about what it does or doesn't do publicly.

Overtime, I have spoken with several parents of the school and the common theme is:

  • Allegedly, Miss Malika is "very fair and beautiful, an excellent salesperson, whatever she will tell you, you will believe 100%"!
  • She only comes to the school on a Saturday
  • Satisfactory level of education offered.

Compared to Clavis and Alexandra House, it is clear a different profile of pupil attends Cavendish Institute.

Looking at the books and homework given to the pupils, and considering teaching jumps between, Creole and French one can say Cavendish Institute offers an identical experience as the free Primary State Schools!

Because of the lack of transparency, it's hard to give this school a more positive review.

FEES

Registration
Rs 30,000 - One time payment
School Fees
Rs 4850 - Rs 6000 monthly
Annual Contribution
Rs 7000

Rating 1/5:

Clavis International

Owner
Mr Forget, Mrs P. Prudhomme and Co.
Headteacher
Nicholas J Hamer
Mode of instruction
English
Books
Worksheets only
Website
www.clavis.mu

100% pass rate in National CPE Exams

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Clavis use to be the first choice for expats, however, over the past two years have had serious competition from Westcoast with many parents opting for the later.

Clavis was set-up when the owners realised there was a gap in the market for private English medium schools. They opened in Quatre-Bornes (the building is now being used by Arden School) but later shifted to Moka.

As the sister school for Le Bocage, Clavis provides a smooth passage towards an International Baccalaureate qualification. If any parent would like to get in touch to let me know their thoughts on the current teaching standards that would be great. All I can say, as far as I am aware Clavis still does not issue any books to pupils. They work from worksheets and no homework is given!

Clavis pupils who have sat for the CPE exam performed with mixed results.

Overall view of parents:

  • Very well established teachers and curriculum
  • Excellent extracurricular activities
  • Strong Parents Association
  • Some concerns about the play area but happy with the environment

FEES

Registration
Rs 50,000 - One time payment
Pre-Primary School Fees
Rs 12,750 monthly
Primary School Fees
Rs 12,750 monthly
Book Fees
Rs 3,000 per annum

Rating: 4/5

Hampton School

Headteacher
Mrs Raghunandan
Qualified in Education
Yes
Inside information
Was the former Head teacher of Clavis International School
Mode of instruction
English
Books used
International Text Books
Website
www.hamptonschoolmu.com

100% pass rate in National CPE Exams

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Hampton School opened a few years after Clavis. It has maintained an excellent balance between solid academic standards and extracurricular activities. Hampton Primary School is one of the few Primary schools in Mauritius to use international text books.

What I love about Hampton is they show exactly what their pupils learn on their Facebook page and their Hampton School Google+ page. You can clearly see the pupils are learning in a fun way which I'm sure parents appreciate.

Overall view of parents:

  • Good balance of teaching and extracurricular activities
  • Pupils progress well and discipline is instilled
  • Good school facilities, good value for money compared to other schools
  • Regular school shows/assemblies/sports day event

There are other schools whose name is similar to Hampton school but I have been informed they are not part of Hampton School.

FEES

Registration
Rs 25,000 - One time payment
Pre-Primary School Fees
Rs 5,000 monthly
Primary School Fees
Rs 5,500 monthly
Book Fees
Rs 5,000 per annum

Rating: 4/5

Orchard Kids

Owner
Mr Baicho
Qualified in Education
NO
Mode of instruction
Creole
Books used
MIE Local Books
Website
www.orchard-kids.com

100% pass rate in National CPE Exams

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Orchard kids has a good reputation in the Primary school sector. It is NOT an English Medium School. It offers exactly the same curriculum as the Government school (MIE) and uses the same books. In fact, it's so similar to the state school that a good number of their staff are retired state school teachers!

Overall, parents are reasonably happy, however, some complain that because instruction jumps between Creole and occasionally French their children get confused. They very rarely do any extra curricular activities if at all! Also, ask yourself if the school is 100% same as a Government school then why would you pay to send your child there?

Overall parents comments:

  • Reasonably pleased with teaching standards
  • Homework given to pupils on low side
  • Curriculum not diverse as other schools
  • Good facilities and transport service
  • No extra curricular activities
  • Too similar to Government State Schools

FEES

Registration
Rs 12,000 - One time payment
Pre-Primary School Fees
Rs 5,000 monthly
Primary School Fees
Rs 5,000 monthly
Book Fees
Rs 500 per annum

Rating 2.5/5

International Preparatory School

Owner
Bruce Ashton
Qualified in Education
Yes
Mode of instruction
English
Website
www.ips-mu.com

100% pass rate in National CPE Exams

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

IPS has been around for over 25 years! It is one the premier English Medium International Schools for those residing in the North of the Island. They have a Head teacher who is very qualified to guide them in the right direction.

IPS ensures that ICT is the backbone of their curriculum. They are probably one the strongest Primary schools in this area with almost every classroom connected to the school IT network.

They also offer single subject teachers for some of their modules.

Overall parents comments:

  • Very satisfied with the teaching
  • A excellent balance of academic and extra curricular activities
  • Well thought-out curriculum
  • Excellent facilities
  • Parents views/concerns are taken into account.

FEES

Registration
Rs 45,000 - One time payment
Deposit
Rs 50,200 (Refundable)
Annual Capital Fee
Rs 10,000
Pre-Primary School Fees
Rs 12,540 monthly
Primary School Fees
Rs 12,540 monthly
Book Fees
Rs 4,400 per annum
Insurance
Rs 500 per annum

Rating 4.5/5

Westcoast International Primary School

Owner
Medine Group
Mode of instruction
French and English
Website
www.wipschool.com/

100% pass rate in National CPE Exams

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Westcoast International Primary School is the number one competitor for schools who target Expats for their clientele. It boasts wonderful facilities in a glorious setting. Within a few years, pupils will be able to progress from Primary to Secondary to University! A University campus is being built in the same proximity.

As far as academic standards goes, it's difficult to say. Some parents complain not enough homework is given and some complain because homework is being given! Watch this space. I will add to this once I get more info.

Westcoast positions itself as an English Medium School, however, on the times I've met pupils from Westcoast, they were speaking French! The head teacher of Westcoast is a former teacher of Lycée La Bourdonnais which is a French Medium School! Does that mean English is not the medium of instruction in the classroom? I doubt it but it probably means is there is a large contingent of French speaking pupils attending. This may present a problem if your child speaks only English, especially at playtime.

Because the school is still relatively new, rating is pending.

FEES

Registration
Rs 3,000 - One time payment
Enrollment Fee
Rs 35,000 or Rs 50,000
Deposit
3 months fees
Primary School Fees
Rs 9,800 monthly - Mauritians
Primary School Fees
Rs 13,800 monthly - Expats

Pending

Conclusion

What you need to appreciate is:

  • NO SCHOOL IS PERFECT
  • NO TEACHER IS PERFECT
  • And…NO CHILD IS PERFECT

Think about it for a moment…

Can you control your children to behave perfectly all of the time?

If you're honest, you'll answer no.

Now ask yourself this…

  • Can I teach my child + 25 other children?
  • Can I do it Monday to Friday, 8am till 3pm?
  • And can I teach every child to a level that will make EVERY parent happy?

Most of you reading this, can't do it.

Teaching kids is hard work.

A teachers job is really mentally and physically exhausting.

Some children are more intelligent and more mature than others and no matter what school they attend, they will succeed.

Some children, even if you admit them to an excellent school, they will return average results—it's not the school's fault.

The best you can do is know what it is that you want, then go to that school and find out if it fulfils your requirement.

Remember, just because you're paying a school it doesn't mean it's 100% their responsibility to educate your child. Parents have a massive part to play in shaping the attitude and behaviour of their child. If a child is spoilt at home, they'll behave spoilt in the classroom. Once a child works out they can lie to their parents about what happens in the classroom and get away with it, the teacher will not be able to educate this child properly.

My hope for all parents reading this is that you now have a better idea of how the Private education system works in Mauritius and despite it's flaws, you are able to find the right school for your child.