Money does not grow on trees. Everyone knows that. In fact, our small country Mauritius has only few reliable sources of income, one of the largest being taxpayers money. Yes, the tax we all pay month-in month out.
My previous post on the Cambridge fiascoÂ provoked a lot of discussion. One comment from fluxy was particularly interesting because it illustrates one of the fallacies of our education system. He writes:
[T]here are many people competing for scholarship, and although only a handful become laureates, there are many who get excellent results, hence the competition itself motivates students to work harder and obtain great results.
[M]any of those donâ€™t return because their expectations are too high to be met by local opportunities. Unless we improve our local offers (which is not really possible – dependent on local economy..etc), scholarships is the only way out.
Give the devil his/her due and the laureate his/her scholarship.
Can you see the fallacy?
Here it is: it’s an absolute fallacy to think that a laureate is due a scholarship because he/she has worked harder than others at HSc level. In fact, we, as taxpayers, couldn’t care less (remember, taxpayers are the ones who pay for scholarships.)
Rather, the Mauritian GovernmentÂ investsÂ in a promising young Mauritian because he/she has demonstrated some potential. We ask the young person to sign a bond (to come back and work for at least five years here if my memory serves me correctly) because theÂ GovernmentÂ wants to have return on investmentÂ andÂ needs competent people to come back to contribute towards the development of the country. Or else the future is bleak.
Now think about how many scholarship holders return to Mauritius. 50%? 25%? 10%? Pretty much pathetic, isn’t it?
Sure, there will also be a number of Mauritians who won’t return “because their expectations are too high to be met by local opportunities.” That’s fine. What they need to do is to take a loan from a bank to finance their studies. I only want to finance those who give back to the country.
Remember, a scholarship is anÂ investment for the future. It’s not a due.
27 March 2013: an update
I’ve reworded the next to last paragraph to better reflect my perception of all this. It is not really important if the person returns or not provided he/she contributes something substantial back in any way whatsoever. Some don’t.
I wanted to to comment on fluxy’s comment also and now we see you post on the comment itself.
“Unless we improve our local offers (which is not really possible – dependent on local economy..etc), scholarships is the only way out.”
Talking about IMPROVING, I suggest about MAINTAINING the local offers.
It has been very discouraging for me as a Bursary holder to hear that UoM won’t be giving stipends to us, henceforth.
This could had been compensated by a Student Exchange Programme, where we have the opportunity, as lucky students to get the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or two and return back to the country. But this is unfortunately not the case…
“I only want to finance those who return to give back to the country.”
Euhh, is your company financing?? :D
Eddy Young says
Read this: http://www.thinkmauritius.com/stephanelee/2006/08/ungrateful.html
Ashesh, all taxpayers (and this include myself) finance the scholarships of all those who go to study “aux frais de sa majestÃ©” every year :-)
Thanks Eddy for the link.
i know i’ll be flamed for this but
i personally think that scholarship at hsc level is bullshit.The way students learn during their college life doesn’t mean they will perform well at university level.. so betting on them will not be wise
instead more scholarships offered upon completion of a Bsc would have been nicer
It’s paradoxical that scholarships is the thing that drives HSC students… if there were no scholarships, would they work that hard?
I seriously don’t think that money is enough to last through the whole scholarship. So they’ll still need to borrow money – & the only to repay that back (& the bond) is by staying back in the foreign countries…
& it useless to have undergrads come back to work if they really no expertise at all. We need investors & entrepreneurs… so actually scholarships are really long-term investments because I’m sure at the end of the day, many will return. :)
Am not exactly the type who would go for such elitist thoughts, but still, i will tend to agree that a scholarship is an important thing, there are people out there who might be VERY poor yet who has dreams on achieving a lot, but unfortunately limited by money, s/he can’t move forward [or has to go for the second options [or third] ]
atleast the idea of a scholarship will make the person work harder and have hope that s/he can achieve it…
sure not coming back will be a bad thing… but atleast we can impose that AFTER X period of time, you return the money + interests + sign something that you will not drop your mauritian nationality….if you are not coming back…
this way, if the guy/gal becomes famous or genius, then we shall :
1. have the money back + interest
2. the pride of calling him/her “a mauritian”
3. Free ads to the country… since mauritius is already a small country, we need to get it known outside.
Before I proceed, I must admit that I am pretty amused to see my comment end up as an article. Anyway let’s go.
So am I, but what I am not sure about is whether or not they realise it.
The Mauritian Govt. invests and loses much money. I believe we are all too aware of the inefficiency of our Govt. when it comes to it. In fact the worst example in this case is our President and vice-President. Do we need them? No? Do they cost a lot? Yup. Why are we having them? Umm…we need a head of state. Pfff. Recently there was the 3 vice-Prime Ministers issue. In other daily affairs, Public Institutions and Public Works are ill-famed for their wastefulness in terms of money management. The Govt. itself is renting out many buildings for cheap while paying enormous sums for those it rents. And the list goes on.
My point here, is although I agree with you, that “a scholarship is an investment for the future. Itâ€™s not a due.“, this is in theory only. If you want to slash “wasted” funds, then I believe you are starting on the wrong end. The elites of this country need to be motivated so that their potential can be achieved, if you can find a better way, then I’m fine with that.
This is so absurd that I wonder whether I should respond to it. You, sir, who have studied abroad and spent so much time in the tertiary education environment should know how much it costs to study abroad (University Fee, Accommodation, Cost of Living, Airfare, Education Materials..), specially in the top universities (oxford…). Some people have very humble financial means (some parents are taxi drivers, police officers…) and can barely make ends meet. How to expect them take a loan of millions and that too at such high interest rates? To mark the beginning of a new life, with such huge debt, boon or bane?
First it is impossible to have an absolute guarantee that anyone, upon leaving this country, will return – courtesy of the Human Rights Declaration. So it is not really an investment, simply a wishful speculative placement of money. Your suggestion, “Therefore, Iâ€™m ok with the idea of sending our â€œlaureatesâ€ to the UoM for one year then put them on an exchange programme.”, does not provide more security to the “investment”, since, here again, there is no guarantee of them staying/working in Mauritius.
Another way to look at is, is as I said, “the competition itself motivates students to work harder and obtain great results.“. We have elites in this country. We can either ignore them or try to stimulate them and wish high returns from them. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather go for the second choice. For once, let’s learn to recognize, appreciate and reward hard work and high performance. And amongst the elites, the best performance and hard work come from the laureates.
Secondly if you don’t want to “I only want to finance those who return to give back to the country,”, stop paying taxes. Taxpayers pay for healthcare and education in Mauritius, both of which are freely available, irrespective of their performance, family background, aspirations, potential returns…etc. Many of those people’s contributions are very meager and sometimes do use up more money that anyone else – e.g. Patients at the cardiac center, drug addicts in rehab (but who will eventually relapse), prisoners, members of parliament (who due to their poor performance will never get elected ever again), students with poor performance (poor attendance…etc), students who will emigrate elsewhere once their HSc/UOM degree completed – here again the list can go on.
To conclude, although your ideas, way of thinking is essentially good, it does not fit in society, maybe in an idealistic and utopic society but until then, reality is calling Mr. Avinash Meetoo…can hear its call?
its not as if when those people come back they’ll make any BIG difference, IF they are forced to pay back their money with interest, the country will be at profit.
unemployment rate is high here, bringing em in will just increase that figure.
laureates have become laureate [compared to those that were just ‘ranked after’ (classE)] by probably some 1 mark or 2 marks… this in no way makes the others BAD…. so who cares? its better they go away, refund the money+interest and never ever come back again. The brain of all the others are still more or less the same, they are NOT some kind of superior beings that WE absolutely NEED.
As far as that way of thinking that always brings idiots to govern… in most countries its like that … do whatever you want, there are more lusers than winners. [but still we can try to reduce the pain a bit by educating a few… and by education i don’t mean just academically, because thetre are a few people out there who despite being academically educated are still big time morons.. while a lot of academically uneducated people still have high morale…sometimes i wonder whether or not a system where you shoot the first idiot who talks about division, might solve the problem].
infact, i am for assigning a certain “weightage” to people, the more they stay out of country or the lesser the contribution to the country, the less likely their chance to get work, this way, the more a laureate stays out of country, the less we want him/her to get a job here…. because sincerely..:
if the laureate don’t want to contribute, the others WILL.
If the others contribute and manage to make that country rise, we don’t want the laureates back to eat off the hard labor of the others and to now sit on people’s head and rule…. ohh no baby, this is not how things are done.
Work and get what you deserve… still if the laureate comes back :p we could increment his “work rank weightage”.
The bond that needs to be signed by laureates has been in place for some time now but the question is: is it being enforced by the Mauritian government?
I believe that there is nobody tracking the laureates to see when they finish their studies or if they have returned or not!
I have got about 6 friends who were laureates and just started working here in the UK after their degree.
Nobody even bothers them and it’s not fully their fault that the Mauritian government fails to follow up.
Moreover, some will just pay off the amount to break the bond once they start working here. When you can earn Â£40,000 (plus bonus) straight after your bachelors degree (In Investment Banking for example), it won’t be a problem to break the bond.
IMHO, just keep the system as it is but increase the monetary value of the bonds and enforce them.
Competition is good; it raises the bar and makes us become the best.
I am proud to have gone through the CPE exams and ranked in the top 100, attended the RCC, competed for the scholarships , got 5As and ranked after the laureates.
The above made me who I am and makes us Mauritians stand out. It is not a coincidence that Mauritians are class toppers in many UK universities (no rote-learning here mate!) and a lot of Mauritians get jobs in very competitive sectors.
Finally, I am sure that a lot of forthcoming comments here will be cases of sour grapes. To those concerned: just get over it :P
To add to that, those have paid their university education with their own money, have the perfect right not to come back if they wish. However, when the laureates see those people not coming back, they think they have the same right. No, laureates don’t have the same rights because their university education were paid not with their own money but with Mauritians’ taxpayers money. For me, a laureate that don’t come back is a criminal, having stolen the poor mauritians. They should be track down and put in jail. Criminals are criminals.
As a taxpayer, I am entitled to have a say on how my money will be used… The fact that I don’t want it to be used to finance the studies of people who won’t contribute to the development of Mauritius is easy to understand.
As for my suggestion of getting a loan being absurd, have a look at the State Bank Achiever loan, the MCB Campus loan or the HSBC MyLoan Education loan. It’s worrying that you are not aware of those… The idea is to finance your studies with the loaned money and then start reimbursing when you work i.e. 3-4 years later.
It’s true that it’s not possible to know if someone will return or not. For instance, I was a scholarship holder myself and I might have stayed in France for some reason or another. In that case, the Government should force the student to respect the terms of the bond signed i.e. pay back a substantial part of the money invested. Why don’t the Government systematically do that is a debate in itself…
Fluxy, I don’t understand about the “stop paying taxes” part. Everyone who is employed and who earns above a certain amount of money has to pay taxes…
The point of this blog entry is to make sure that people understand that a scholarship is not a reward or a due. It’s an investment by us because we want to have a better future. It’s our money being used after all…
This whole glorification of laureates has a perverse effect. It makes some people think that the whole point of education is to become one at the expense of being educated, skilled, productive, integrated in society, interesting, whatever.
Of course, it’s nice to be first in something. Heck, I’ve been first a lot of time in my life and I loved it. But being able to say that I’ve given back something substantial to my country is something else…
But you are already doing it, and with more money and in so many ways too, like I mentioned, so my point is if you want to slash the wasted funds, you are starting at the wrong end.
As I said, “How to expect them take a loan of millions and that too at such high interest rates? To mark the beginning of a new life, with such huge debt, boon or bane?” The money that they have to take as loan is quite huge (for an individual set on starting a new life), and besides, if I’m not mistaken, I think only the principal can be paid after the studies, the interest needs to be paid from the start of the loan itself. Also the moratorium limit, and besides considering the 13.75% interest rate and the huge (at individual level) principal, the sum to be paid after is quite a hefty one.
Of course, I was just being ironic. My point here is, again, as a taxpayer you are already investing in various stuffs that will never get you a cent, and which will rather eat up many of your millions. I have mentioned the following examples:
So what should we do? Cut all these? We could, but should we?
I’d rather not see it as an investment because the securities thereof are very limited, you can’t force someone to return to Mauritius. “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13(2)). So, as I said earlier, “. We have elites in this country. We can either ignore them or try to stimulate them and wish high returns from them. I donâ€™t know about you, but Iâ€™d rather go for the second choice.“. Or rather as Selven suggested:
But do we really need that profit? Of course we do, we, like everyone else, need all the cash we can get our hands on, but do we need to go to such an extent? I’d rather not, specially when there are better ways to get money – by being more efficient in areas stained with indecent inefficiency, and where much more money is being sent down the drain.
MÃªme s’il est toujours souhaitable de faire des economies, tant qu’on le peut et lÃ oÃ¹ l’on peut, ne soyons pas avares, et choyons ceux qui, en s’Ã©tant sacrifiÃ©s corps et Ã¢me, et en s’Ã©tant illustrÃ©s tant sur le plan national qu’international, nous ont dÃ©montrÃ©s les limites qu’on peut franchir et les belles choses dont nous sommes capables. (As in sports, Bruno Julie brought a “simple” medal, whose real value may not be much – and he’s keeping it btw :P – that too after much “investment” from the Govt. and his employer. The monetary returns themselves are not much, but we are unanimous to agree that what he did was exceptional, because indeed it is.)
Btw isn’t it strange/ironic/hypocritical that some people are hesitant to give scholarships, but are always first to claim the honors when the laureates or other elites – products of the laureate system – achieve world wide renown? (Those working at NASA…etc)
It’s not that UOM is crap – I study there ;-) – it’s just that the courses are limited as to what the laureates can and should aspire to (astrophysics, aeronautics..). Such courses require candidates to be of very high level (in terms of intelligence and hard work) – enter the laureates – and if we do not empower them then it will be a sheer waste of potential, I’d rather “waste” money than brains.
You don’t run an airplane with diesel now, do you? Elites have the potential to bring about innovation, progress and “change the world”, and laureates are the best amongst them. Do we ignore them or sponsor them and hope to benefit from possible returns of their contribution? The problem is, if someone has studied, let’s say aeronautics or astrophysics, there’s little prospect for contribution in Mauritius, which is why we cannot always expect them to return.
(I could go on, but am really in a hurry, sorry.)
As for the taxpayer’s issue, see my comments above.
Our education system is not equitable. Rich people can afford to pay lots of private tuition and give optimal quality of life to their kids while poor kids have to endure a lot of hardships. Consequently, and this is a fact, laureates are mostly from families who are financially comfortable.
The problem with our society is that it fails to give the same opportunities to all.
I am in favour of having an elite because our country is in dire need of intelligent people in such troubled times. But the way our so-called “elite” is selected (CPE -> SC -> HSC) has too many drawbacks for it to work in the long term… and that’s why every single Minister of Education has tried to reform the system.
I’ll be bold: many Mauritian laureates (but not all) are not particularly intelligent (and, consequently, won’t be particularly productive.) They are just a bunch of kids who have been trained since childhood to know a lot of things by heart and to answer questions from past papers.
Intelligence is something else. It’s about your reaction to unpredictability. And, here, I have to confess that I am currently smiling while writing this comment trying to imagine that typical Mauritian laureate being confronted to unpredictability ;-)
Intelligence is something else. Itâ€™s about your reaction to unpredictability. And, here, I have to confess that I am currently smiling while writing this comment trying to imagine that typical Mauritian laureate being confronted to unpredictability ;-)
I’d disagree because all my friends who were laureates (at RCPL) were hardly like that. & I can assure they’d be the first to figure out a solution if faced with unpredictability. ;)
I think these “bookish” laureates are really a minority. :P
lol… that comment will bring flames..lots of flames.
giving the scholarship is fine as long as they pay it back, its like playing a game of who is going to get sponsored for their studies… but at the end of the day, you can’t base all your strategy on them… you’ll be bound to lose.
Ok. I’ve put my fire blocking suit. Here is something bolder:
Carrotmadman6, you are correct to say that the typical Mauritian laureate can react very quickly to unpredictable questions in an HSC exam paper. That’s why he/she is a laureate after all. But (and this is a massive but) this is not the kind of unpredictability I was referring to. I was talking about real-life problems whether at work or in personal life. In this situation, I fail to see why a laureate would react more intelligently that others…
Anyway, that’s not a major issue.
The big issue is that the Mauritian state has invested money and if the scholarship holder decides to stay where he/she is, then he/she should abide by all the terms of the bond i.e. pay back whatever needs to be paid.
Money does not grow on trees. Remember?
Let’s say a laureate has just completed his/her studies in UK, has a job offer in hand by a UK company and has to make a decision about whether to take the job there or return to Mauritius and serve the nation as the taxpayers have financed the studies. If that person has to come to Mauritius and search for a job then the decision wouldn’t be hard to make. I agree that in addition to financing their studies you can’t offer them jobs in the public sector on a plate also but then they need some guarantee that they won’t go jobless for a while.
Carrotmadman6, you are correct to say that the typical Mauritian laureate can react very quickly to unpredictable questions in an HSC exam paper. Thatâ€™s why he/she is a laureate after all. But (and this is a massive but) this is not the kind of unpredictability I was referring to. I was talking about real-life problems whether at work or in personal life. In this situation, I fail to see why a laureate would react more intelligently that othersâ€¦
Avinash, you are contradicting yourself here – if a laureate can react very quickly to unpredictable questions in the HSC exam, this implies that he can think outside the box and it is fair to say that he has not learnt everything by heart or practiced all past-exam questions that exist. How can you say that that he won’t react better to problems at work? Is your assumption based on personal experience while working with past-laureates?
As for dealing with personal problems in life, while being intelligent would definitely help, there so many factors that come into play.
Do you propose that we put all the students who are competing for scholarships through a ‘personal life problem’ so that we can assess their ‘other’ type of intelligence? Dr Bunwaree is proposing a reform of the educational sector atm.. maybe you could be of some help to him.
“many Mauritian laureates (but not all) are not particularly intelligent (and, consequently, wonâ€™t be particularly productive.) They are just a bunch of kids who have been trained since childhood to know a lot of things by heart and to answer questions from past papers.
Intelligence is something else. ”
am simply curious.
Can you define intelligence please???
I understand a bit about intelligence from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_intelligence_theory
“real-life problems whether at work or in personal life. In this situation, I fail to see why a laureate would react more intelligently that othersâ€¦”
Do you mean that a laureate ranked under Science won’t know how to make his/her sandwhich? plan his own finance? able to drive a car in a traffic?
Do you underestimate our brain? or think that our Laureates are just intelligent like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Peek and unable to tackle real life problems.
I know well of a Bookish (RCPL) laureate who just returned from Imperial College, London. Do you mean that confronted to unpredictabilty, the HSC-failed guy would managed better than him?
I was also referring to real-life problems. :)
Ok, I’ll be bold as well (no offence meant to anyone): In my engineering class, you’ve got exam/tests toppers who, when it comes to practicals, just plainly suck. They are not true engineers. Who’s to be blamed. Our educational system that encourages rote learning instead of proper learning. :(
I think that law should be more strictly enforced for the laureates to pay back their bonds (including depreciation of the sum & interest rates, etc.) So in reality that would a kind of loan to students, instead of a sponsorship. :)
Interesting this one !
Everyone seems to have a heck of a linguistic problem here, calling bright and smart students as intelligent. Go and read a bit more to understand a bit more of what ‘intelligent’ is defined as. Translating ceole ‘intellezent’ into intelligent in English, I bet many of you ex-laureates and others have surely given your past Cambridge Exams marker a smile …
Re-tax payers money for laureates : the students who are on X and Y government’s scholarship simply have a treaty of shared sponsorship with the government of Mauritius. In the case of laureates, the French and the UK government FULLY assume the FULL cost of these scholarships. Avinash you have got it wrong there, it is not our huge tax money that goes there. For local sponsorship, perhaps, so.
Re- bond : it is ONLY to ensure the return of qualified individuals to their respective country that bonds are drawn between 2 governments. The rest is all dependent of the moral ethics and patriotism of the individual after completing his/her studies. Recently a group of medical students faced the same problem. They were asked to go back to Mauritius to do their internship …. so that they could not ‘claim’ a valid workplace after qualifying as a doctor and stay in France.
But many students fail to return because of lucrative opportunities, better standard of life in UK or France. Eventually, they have to ‘tracer’ to qualify to stay as legal resident. And mnay manage to do so.
The question we should be asking is the quality of education the state if offering to give free education to our children. This is where the tax money is invested.
Educated people who have had exposure and opportunity to acquire an international qualification shoudl refrain from proning an elitist regime. This is where the private tuition virus will keep on eating us to oblivion and destitute. You should advocate meritocracy and opportunity. You admit that a first grader from CPE to HSC is not a guarantee to be a fit individual to succeed in a smart way.
Mauritius does not have money growing trees. The people are its most valuable assets. This debate should see smart, bright and able individuals sport a better spirit rather than spitting at each other. Suggest constructive ways and not ‘ palabres a la mauricienne’ au risque de se perdre dans la rhetorique.
Anyone heard of Piaget ? and intelligence ….
I wrote “I fail to see why a laureate would react more intelligently that othersâ€¦”
HSC exams do not test intelligence. This is more or less what many pedagogues including myself believe.
Let me be clear. Being first at the HSC exams makes you a laureate. But this does not imply that you are intelligent. Of course, this does not mean that a laureate is not intelligent, only that intelligence is not a necessary condition to become a laureate.
But, as I wrote above, that’s not the point. The point is about understanding and, ultimately, respecting the bond. It’s perfectly legitimate for a scholarship holder to decide to stay abroad. It not legitimate for him/her to forgo about the terms of the bond he/she signed before getting the scholarship.
As for “Do you mean that confronted to unpredictabilty, the HSC-failed guy would managed better than him?”, why not? Know someone called Albert Einstein? He was a total failure at secondary school and is now considered to have been a genius.
Our education system does not test intelligence. I guess it’s tough for some of you to realise this because you are either too young or not knowledgeable enough about teaching and pedagogy.
But, what the heck, the Minister of Education has announced that we’ll move towards International Baccalaureate and this is bound to stop this laureate adulation nonsense because IB requires continuous assessment and, consequently, it becomes impossible to select the “best”.
There is something else you should know. It has been mathematically proved that selecting the “best” when students have multiple marks (which happens at HSC level with 3 principal subjects and 2 subsidiary subjects) is an utter nonsense. For example, who is better between those two?
A: 100 100 100 0 0
B: 60 60 60 60 61
A has an average of 60 and B is 60.2 and therefore, roulement de tambours, B gets a scholarship. But, in fact, B is just average and A is a genius in three subjects and does not care at all for the two remaining subjects.
That’s why one UNESCO expert once laughed when ask to comment on one of our CPE papers. Wrong things are being examined. And the “best” is hardly the best.
Please read the Draft Education & Human Resources Strategy Plan for 2008-2020 prepared by the current Minister of Education to understand what terrible mistakes we are currently doing. Focus on page 24 and then come back to comment.
Eddy Young says
Also to be considered, said investment begins as soon as a person begins their education in a public school at a young age, not just when the university scholarship is awarded. When a laureate does not return to Mauritius, that is 18+ years of taxpayers’ money down the drain.
Are we talking social smartness or bright ?
Funny among all these ‘laureates’ ….. mauritius has never heard of a ‘gifted’ individual….. our genes are too ‘average’ ??
Leave you to read the text below :
General mental ability due to the integrative and adaptive functions of the brain that permit complex, unstereotyped, purposive responses to novel or changing situations, involving discrimination, generalization, learning, concept formation, inference, mental manipulation of memories, images, words and abstract symbols, eduction of relations and correlates, reasoning, and problem solving.
Intelligence tests are diverse collections of tasks (or items), graded in difficulty. The person’s performance on each item can be objectively scored (for example, pass or fail); the total number of items passed is called the raw score. Raw scores are converted to some form of scaled scores which can be given a statistical interpretation.
The first practical intelligence test for children, devised in 1905 by the French psychologist Alfred Binet, converted raw scores to a scale of â€œmental age,â€ defined as the raw score obtained by the average of all children of a given age. Mental age (MA) divided by chronological age (CA) yields the well known intelligence quotient or IQ. When multipled by 100 (to get rid of the decimal), the average IQ at every age is therefore 100, with a standard deviation of approximately 15 or 16. Because raw scores on mental tests increase linearly with age only up to about 16 years, the conversion of raw scores to a mental-age scale beyond age 16 must resort to statistical artifices. Because of this problem and the difficulty of constructing mental-age scales which preserve exactly the same standard deviation of IQs at every age, all modern tests have abandoned the mental-age concept and the calculation of IQ from the ratio of MA to CA. Nowadays the IQ is simply a standardized score with a population mean of 100 and a standard deviation (Ïƒ) of 15 at every age from early childhood into adulthood. The middle 50%, considered â€œaverage,â€ fall between IQs of 90 and 110. IQs below 70 generally indicate â€œmental retardation,â€ and above 130, â€œgiftedness.â€
I am a CPE to HSC 5As recipient with sholarship till postgraduate studies.. blah ..blah …. this did not prevent me from failing in many occasions in life inspite of being in the elitist group ….
get a life guys and make some good dough if you are really that bright !
Any Gates of Branson out there ?!
”HSC exams do not test intelligence. This is more or less what many pedagogues including myself believe.”
Avinash get your facts right :
Teaching does not make one a pedagogue – sorry. You DO have to have training in Methodology and understand the principles of learning to be called so. It takes another 8 years’ of sudy to master the art and be a ‘Pedagogue’. That is the main difference between the UoM and MIE, who always measure their content based training to pedogical training. There is not a single ‘pedagogue’ amomg the UoM staff, they are all academicians. You can still call yourself a lecturer or a teacher but this does not make you a pedagogue.
.’But, what the heck, the Minister of Education has announced that weâ€™ll move towards International Baccalaureate and this is bound to stop this laureate adulation nonsense because IB requires continuous assessment and, consequently, it becomes impossible to select the â€œbestâ€.
send the Minister back to school ! ….. how many experts have asked to implement continuous assessment to the Ministry, ask UNESCO reports for the last 15 years or so. But no one listens to the call.
Have a look at my last blog entry.
“There is not a single â€˜pedagogueâ€™ amomg the UoM staff, they are all academicians. You can still call yourself a lecturer or a teacher but this does not make you a pedagogue.”
Hmm this lets me to ponder upon the issue:
Do UoM lecturers been through courses like Education Theory?
I am still a student but currently doing the Module Education Theory I & II (by a lecturer of more than 50 years in Education, Ex-Associate Prof @ MIE. and I find that he has mastered the art of pedagogue.
Well what about UoM staff? is it that they have their MSc and join in the dept and start teaching? How do they deal with heterogenous students – (those of mixed abilities i.e HSC stud and HSC stud – 5As?
don’t want to raise a flame, but when i see the way MIE people react to things… they are soo much predictable, its like everything they do is “By the book”
Why 8 years??? This is yet another example of how predictable and by the book that logic is… [don’t get me wrong], but to make the assumption that one needs 8 years more to become something… would that be some kind of logic that would be based on assuming “when you complete a %course%, then it means you are profficient in it”
Where %course% is a variable which can be replaced by any “syllabus” kind of plans devised by “an educational system which currently exists.. but which exists on false assumption”.
AND one more thing…
I seem to notice that you firmly believe in the system you live in without ever questioning about the logic behind things…
remember that IQ tests are not to be taken seriously, IQ tests can let false positives pass easily…
personally am not really a fan of IQ tests.. because i believe this system is flawed… IQ tests depends a lot on previous knowledge [or fact] (i would be glad to reply you on this if you believe it isn’t). Basically this system would’ve been good if the one to be tested gets all facts infront of him first…
Basicaly.. the current way IQ test work [which is biased] dis-favors minorities [since there are lot of assumption that you are supposed to know X,Y or Z.. as it is sooo… ‘obvious’].
I personally classify people in two major categories (ofcourse i am not including the morons for the moment), So , basically there are the Processor types of people…. Those according to me are supreme beings, these beings given the facts will be able to do anything and think of anything.. because they use their brain for thinking how to DO things according to their sense of logic.
Then there are the HardDisk type… basically.. those types can stock huge amount of facts in their brain and can retrieve those facts whenever needed… sure those also are needed and are classified as intellectually great.
IQ test favors type2, i.e, hard disk type, sure enough, being able to stock large amount of facts in the brain and the ability to retrieve it quickly is NICE, but according to me.. those types are designed to be prefect at doing X,Y or Z activity… but those WILL NEVER bring improvement, invention or anything NEW.
It is the processor types that will always be the ones who will bring in change and make the world move further.
But then.. you can definitely disagree with me… and i shall definitely [if i have the time], reply on that… as… i have been thinking when someone would talk on something like that since quite a while.
[note: don’t judge me on my language :p i know i may leave a lot of mistakes in writing… since i have a lot of other thing to care about].
AND now @ royalist…
I wonder whether you are taking this discussion personally…
Anywayz… i with my mostly sick brain have understood that HSC exams are based on a set of facts that needs to be learnt by students and then in the exams they need to use those facts to answer to either a dirrect or indirect question… am pretty sure avinash by that meant that those people will not /might not have much problem dealing with such an “unpredictable” situation BECAUSE… the facts we are talking about is of limited range… i.e say for example those kids are learning maths, perhaps they are limited in their syllabus to “series, stats, vectors….”, so, however unpredictable the question is.. it will always lie in WHAT IS given in the syllabus.. basically this is the type of “controlled unpredictability”… you get my meaning i hope.. i.e its like you are given plastic toy guns and made to fight in a closed room with the air-con against children of your age you are heavily armored… sure you have no idea where you enemies are hiding to hit you with the paint gun :p but still, you know you won’t die and you don’t have to think about the logic of all this.
what avinash mean [probably if i am not wrong] by unpredictable thing, is .. [i believe] thinking really out of the box, challenging the world around you, challenging the reasoning behind things, do not take for granted what Einstein said, do not take for granted what newton said, do not take for granted what anyone said, think and analyze situations FOR WHAT they are learn it and treat it as an special case… such types of people brings new invention out to light…
of course you may disagree with me.. i wouldn’t blame you for that… since its just my opinion and i tend to look down on most people who don’t think differently :p
no flames intended
das bet flamen
Don’t worry. All new UoM academic have to take pedagogy courses in order to be confirmed. I did :-)
I agree with Avinash. I’d rather the money was spent on something else. And I think that in the end the competition for the scholarship hurts more people than it helps. Instead of taking extra tuition in maths or physics (for the 2 or 3 marks more), they could have been doing so much else (like learning to cook for their future wives or husbands, or maybe learning manners).
guess this discussion has an effect of pouring down a sieve.
What is the logocal course of your thinking pattern and predictability ?
SC>HSC>graduate ? well the art of pedagogy not pedagogue btw, is as natural as choosing your line of study. A teacher can only aspire to have the proper teaching qualifications to teach after doing a PGCE, that is a post graduate certificate in education. Now, if you want to start with a Bachelor’s in Ed, it is even better or a Masters. A PGCE is ONLY awarded after a first degree. This is the basis of the British and international norms of qualififications to ‘teach’. As knowing the content is not enough, the philosophy and craft of teaching is a serious matter. It will shape the individual for life. ‘
But in Mauritius, this has been lax. Firstly, because of the infancy of the whole process, which MIE staff are still breaking their bones to get heard. Before criticizing the system, have a look at the beginning of education and its progress in Mauritius. We are all the outcome of this still faltering system. And we are all making a living of it, feeding our kids and shouldering the responsibilty of our family.
Our Education sucks ! Yes, we hear that even in the UK, in France where it is a huge problem currently. France being at the bottom of the list in education in the whole of the EU. Where does that leave our education system? Where no one has still yet defined what we need… We copy models of other countries and take tips and reccomendations from UNESCO to shape our white papers. Anything to do with need, NO. It is about funding. Full stop. We are at the hands of international players, just in case you did not know. But this will not sink well with most on this forum because of their lack on of understanding of the ‘bigger picture’ and scheme of things.
But the Mauritians are failing to understand what they are lacking and how to prone ideas which will work. The strategy paper Avinash is refering to has been worked and hashed each time. And with new regime in power each time, the lines had to be changed to please X, Y minister. Read Dr T Morrison’s report. The academicians believing they could do anything what their international experts can do have also usurped the UNESCO chair’s seat in Mauritius. After the right lobbying in the right galleries. What they fail to understand is that they do no have a wide view, they cannot see things of how thay work in different contexes without international exposures. Reading reports is not enough. Face a country in shambles and shape it. This is where the having rights skills make a difference. Humility is one area where Mauritians are incredibly poor.
Good that you have taken the teaching and learning course, BTW it was reccomended by MIE at the request of the UoM as they know they do not have the right qualifications for it. Glad that you are allowed to teach in Mauritius at Tertairy level without a teaching qualification after your own graduate and post graduate studies. In the UK, even being a teaching assisstant at prepatory level requires a PGCE as a start. This is why the system is what it is and how it is valued.
check this to understand about the basic qualifications of teaching : http://www.ioe.ac.uk
In Mauritius, even MIE staff are recruited on basis of a post graduate study only, not education qualificaions, They are provided with updates later as professionl development degrees awards with different international universities.
The problem comes from lack of trained resources. Do you know about the trouble of getting into the highly valued teaching professionals’ circle in France ? IUFM’s ‘concours’ is very strict.
What is the government imposed this basic teaching qualification to one and all here? Perhaps, they would start to understand a little bit about pedagogy ……
“Itâ€™s not that UOM is crap – I study there – itâ€™s just that the courses are limited as to what the laureates can and should aspire to (astrophysics, aeronautics..). Such courses require candidates to be of very high level (in terms of intelligence and hard work) – enter the laureates – and if we do not empower them then it will be a sheer waste of potential, Iâ€™d rather â€œwasteâ€ money than brains.”
I`m not saying that UOM is crap but the govt of Mru is giving the rest of the world such an impression by telling indirectly our best elements to go abroad. The rest of our best HSC students get this message too and that`s why many good HSC holders leave the country never to return back since they would invest huge money paying for their university education abroad. As to your point that UOM offer limited courses, instead of wasting money on laureates, the govt could have invested that money by enlarging UOM`s offerings by bringing expertise from abroad if needed. What is better, sending one Mauritian aborad to study astrophysic (taking your example) or bringing the expertise from abroad to teach those course to many more students? Bring lecturers and give the opportunity to many more than one student.
If you want to look at a successful system, take a look at Singapore. The Singaporean govt offer scholarships only to students going to their local universities, especially NUS, and none to Singaporeans going to study abroad. That does not mean that they can`t get foreign expertise. They have a huge amount of exchange programs with US, UK, Australian and other universities abroad. Take a look at how many US, UK, Australian, French and German universities have set up campuses in Singapore which is geographically smaller than Mauritius. They even offer scholarships to foreign students who want to come study in Singaporean universities as this will boost the reputation of their own universities internationally. I know you would be quick to say not compare Singapore with Mauritius. But to tell you frankly, we have to because we were basically the same as them before and look at where we are now and where they are. Mauritius does not want to change. If you miss the train, remain underdeveloped; the rest of the world is not going to wait for you, they are already far ahead.
And if you think that laureates are so much like demi-gods, you would be very disappointed. I have had known many laureates in my life. They are not that much different. Sure, they can be academically good but not by that far as you may believe. And there are many students who are much better in education in general, much more well-rounded in their leadership skills. These people are leaving Mauritius one by one never to come back seeing how underdeveloped the system is. If you think they are the one losing, you are dead wrong; it is Mauritius who is losing.
Kailash Balnac says
I agree with Avinash. We should aim for a good ROI when we invest taxpayer’s money.
Well thinking about it maybe there is some ROI in sending students abroad and them staying abroad after studies. Could it be that part of the experience and money gained might end up in Mauritius? Assuming that they return at some point.. but that is, I guess, the whole question..
Think there should be more need based scholarships? As Sithanen often quotes “If you want to help the poor… then help the poor”. Maybe we should invest more in our local universities’ capacity instead of paying millions to send a few abroad.
Sincerely, does a PGCE makes a bad teacher any better???
To be good at teaching i suppose comes with the person itself, if he doesn’t have it, a PGCE won’t even matter.. most teachers that i know does PGCE to get a pay raise….[just to please the system again huh?]
And is that an excuse for not moving to a better system??
A course, a qualification, or a syallbus thing doesn’t make someone any better, its only through experience that one becomes good at it.. i believe, but then there are those that are not made for it, and we just can’t do a damned thing about it… even if they have tons of qualifications.
Hmmm msn discussion have started to continue on here? :p
Especially since the University of Mauritius has been asking for a few additional millions for years now…
What I’d expect from a future laureate is that he/she should be able to propose a solution which is acceptable by most (satisfying all is impossible), and certainly not the whining I’m currently seeing.
You want to show that you deserve a scholarship, now is a splendid time to prove it; to me that would be a proof of intelligence!
Hmm.. i believe that’s not the point here, since the hsc exams is like a game, the one who scores more marks ought to get his scholarship .. its just fair game. but then, he must follow the rules of the game… but this in no way means he is way above all :p, at the end of the day, he is only human :p
wow guess its really gettin hot in here! pity i’ve been away all these days…
lemme start by quoting a guy some of u intelligent people must have heard of…Socrates
“I know that i am intelligent because i know that i know nothing”
So guess that this has just made all of us sound really stupid :P
Frankly in this whole discussion, the only ppl i found 2 b quite sane were Avinash and Selven…
the rest of u….just saying loads of bullshit…
maybe koz of lack of experience, but really its just like kids from school talking…
Laureates are intelligent koz they can master a syllabus?? big LOL!
Get to the real world guyz, get a job or something, and then u’ll see whether all the stuff u learnt by heart at school to b able to get those 100 marks are of any use now!!
Work till 2 in the morning on a piece of code that seems perfect from every aspect except that it just wont run, its then that u need to start thinking out of the box.
Make the right choices in everyday life, kno how to deal ur bloody boss and those working under u wivout gettin sacked or sacking anyone, thats intelligence.
know when to put ur foot on the pedal and slalom ur way through peak hr traffic on the highway wivout wrecking ur car ], thats intelligence.
HSC doesnt test intellienge, it tests the ability of students to learn some predefined stuff within a specific amount of time. thats it.
Ever wondered about who is more intelligent, the laureate who did a 3rd year or the guy who got 5 A’s at 1 sitting…he’s not the one walking away wiv the scholarship…
I got 5A’s at hsc…and i was quite the party guy…my university results r even worse, but then i had better fings to do than just sit at hme and learn…does that make me stupid? Does my hsc certificate and my university degree assess my intelligence or do they just assess whether i learnt what was being tought at UOM or at school?
think bout it.
Now come the UOM lecturers, most of em are far from good, but that doesnt mean that none of em aint fit to teach.
now i had the chance to be in avinash’s parallel processing class in ma third year…And though i dun remember much bout wat was in the module [i passed ;)], but i remember loads of stuff that he talked about and which is more than useful for me when im out there working in the real world.
Does trying to convince everyone that you r right make u intelligent?
Intelligence is all about knowing how stupid u are…and damn i’m sooo stupid!
i feel like am about to explode out of being proud :D:D:D
Laureate of the RCC says
Govt-funded studies? What do u know? Was the money given *generously*? We’ve worked very hard for it. And generosity implies giving enough – do u know that most Laureates have to pay at least 1 or 2 years of their basic degree, which laureates coming from poor families cannot afford? Coming back to work to the country? Of course we all plan to come back – I have numerous friends who are laureates and we all plan to come back. But studies for those who want excellence take a long time. Nowadays u do degree after degree and finish studying at 40. So be patient, don’t criticise when u don’t know. Have u, for one second, thought about the millions of rupees the state puts in the education of every child since birth, not just laureates? Why are not not bothered about everyone coming back, why just focus on laureates? Your writing shows what separates u from us: honesty in our thinking.
What do I know? A lot actually. I am an ex-RCC too :-)
Money is not being given. Money is being loaned. And you (if you’re really a RCC laureate of course) will have to reimburse the money in one form or another. You know why? Because it’s is (partly) my money and I have the right to decide what I want my money to be used for. Understood? Don’t forget you’ll be a taxpayer one day too (if you decide to come back of course.)
As for why I focus on laureates, it is simply because they are supposed to be very intelligent and I want them to come back to work for the development of the country. That’s why. I’m bored of a state spending billions (not millions) on education and at the end finding most of its “intelligentsia” staying abroad. That’s not fair towards all those who have been paying taxes for decades…
[Anyway, you’re fighting a lost cause. The reason why there is a bond which laureates and scholarship holders have to sign is precisely because the Government believes that giving a scholarship is an investment and those who do not play the game should reimburse (part of) the investment.]
Yet another ex-RCC student says
Hahaha! Sour grapes indeed! ;)
I think all Rcc and ex-rcc as well as so-called star school students should read this thread of opinions as it makes for a fascinating read.
The argument going on about what is intelligence is bordering on the comical and yet it highlights some of the embarrassing yet very real opinions that star school students have of themselves – the famed superiority complex. I always thought I was in the minority while I was in my high school (“college” en creole morisyen) days. Glad to see that there are a few of us who are less self centered than what many here have made plain for all to see.
Anyways, I’d like to shed a light on some of my own high school experience: basically I was a bright student – actually cultivated, but quite lazy (though I didn’t quite realize it at the time) added to the fact that my family was going through some hard times d’un point de vue relationnel. Needless to say, I royally (lol!) failed my A levels!
So after a few mishaps in my academic and semi-professional career I’m now quite lagging behind in terms of personal accomplishment – though thankfully I managed to get back on track…
Hence for me the argument about intelligence being *entirely* the result of personal effort and people being more gifted than others for me is a bit of a vacuous one. Circumstances and environment have a major part to play in influencing upon peoples’ destinies. Sure, well done to those laureates and I’m not dissing your efforts, but do realise that maybe some of the things that you took for granted in your life – such as … early exposure to english, books, a well structured family life … may have contribute to your successes.
As for the scholarship funding thingy to make a long story short you people just know that I abide by Avinash’s views.
P.s: Well said Cindy! Extra tuitions should be banned! (ok maybe that’s justa bit extreme but I do think its an aberration) Bonus marks or grades (or somthing along the line of a certification for citizenship service) should be given for non-academic activities such as gardening, social service, environmental preservation or whatever…
I would like to add something to this discussion. There are several scholarships on offer (can be found on Mauritian Government website). There are some students who were awarded scholarships such as UK Commonwealth or Canadian Commonwealth. These students think that the money that funded their scholarship is from UK govt or Canadian govt. So they don’t have that sense of responsibility and don’t feel enough to come back to MU. Of course I am generalising after having met a student throwing this shiite at me.
I know it’s way too late to comment here but while i read the views of you all it gave me an idea about the scholarships system.
As a university student i would like to propose a solution(if it can be called so).
So here is the thing..why dont we divide the finance for scholarships into fragments proportional to the semesters one can have in the university. A percentage of the finance kept for a particular semester would then be allocated to the student if the latter’s results are good or according to their CPA levels.
Wat i mean is that the finance be allocated as the percentage of the CPA level the student received during a semester or a yearly exam (depends on the module).
One would ask what’s the use ? Well, i would say the fund will be used accordingly to the students potential..Think it like a venture between the student and government rather than a Scholarship. The Student invests his share of efforts and the government rewards him/her in the appropriate way.
I know its not about the Fund on the whole but i would like to request those laureates to come back to the country and fulfill their duty. Why think about better jobs opportunities locally when the challenge is something else, the challenge is to revolutionise wat’s not working in the country.
That’s all i had to say.
Thanks for reading,
Not a bad idea at all. The only problem I can foresee is how is it going to take into account universities which grade students very differently.
Personally, I still believe that the simplest thing to do is to actually exercise law. When one signs a bond and does not respect the terms of the bond, then that person has breached a contract and can be sued by the Government. I really don’t understand why this is not systematically done.
Point: If you sign a contract respect it, its ‘decency’ oh and also the law but yeah people dont care about the law mostly nowadays.
I just read about the statement of the President of the Republic where he tells the laureates that they can stay abroad if they find better opportunities that will benefit their careers. What do you think abt that? (My reaction: I nearly fell off my chair!)
Hi Varsha, do you have a link to that article?!?
Here’s the link:
“Pour revenir Ã la fonction de ce matin, sir Anerood Jugnauth a appelÃ© les bousiers Ã rentrer au pays une fois leurs Ã©tudes terminÃ©es Ã lâ€™Ã©tranger. Toutefois, il a concÃ©dÃ© que câ€™est Ã eux de choisir sâ€™ils estiment que des meilleures perspectives sâ€™offrent Ã eux Ã lâ€™Ã©tranger.”
It’s not that bad, Varsha :-)
It’s true that it is preferable for the country if scholarship holders return. But it’s also true that you can’t force someone to return (whether he/she has better opportunities elsewhere or not.) What is important is that those who decide not to return reimburse what the country has invested in them (i.e. pay their bond.)
u spoke my mind vishal!!!very well said…i really apppreciate avinash for his views. would like to add sumthng: “true education is wat u retain wen u have forgotten everythng” I know laureates who r teachers and cant teach a damn thng, that mayb bekoz they had just mastered a particular syllabus and when trends keep changing they cant cope.yet they behave as if they r above the world. I am nt generalising, but for some it’s true.
i was also kind of a carefree person, wid 5As at HSC at 1st attempt without working very hard but I believe one should nt b too proud about being laureate, becoz dat doesnt signify everything. common sense is d thng wich is most important….in wateva u undertake. some above have also insulted uom above, or d lecturers…this only depicts sheer ignorance. one shudnt speak wen he/she doesn’t kno..i kno many who reached very far having studied from uom only….it is true dat der r loopholes in d system here, which im sure exist everywer.
i am myself studying at a foreign institution but i am really be grateful to mauritius for its free education system which cannot be seen everywhere. Education systems hav imperfections everywhere, and it is up to us to make necessary amendments to make education fair for all.
UK Commonwealth scholarships are funded by the host countries usually in associating with the host universities.