The RVA system has a clear rationale and is designed to bring people back into education and training. Employers use because it provides them with qualified and motivated personnel. Pathways have been clearly developed within the Mauritian Qualifications Framework attracting significant interest from trade unions. Government plays a vital role in supporting RVA.
Challenges and opportunities
Mauritius has had to grapple with several challenges, namely: (1) an uncoordinated education and training sector with large numbers of education and training providers offering courses of varying duration and quality; (2) qualifications containing little or no information about outcomes of learning achieved; and (3) a lack of mechanisms for the recognition of outcomes from non-formal and informal learning.
National standards, policy and framework activity
To address these challenges the Mauritius Qualifications Authority (MQA) was established in 2002 following the enactment of the MQA Act of 2001 to coordinate and regulate the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector. Amongst its objectives, the MQA aims to develop, implement and maintain the Mauritius Qualifications Framework (MQF) and to recognise and validate competences obtained outside formal education and training for purposes of certification. In doing so, it intends to raise the value of non-formal and informal learning.
People are now able to validate their skills and experiences because national qualifications not just reflect the local demand for skills, but also contain information of outcomes achieved. This is made possible through the development of outcomes-based standards carried out by Industry Training Advisory Committees (ITACs), comprising experts from both public and private industrial sectors.
Up to now the MQA has set up 20 ITACs and two additional committees. Currently, some 143 qualifications together with 3710 unit standards have been developed in 19 sectors such as automotive, health and social care, furniture making and language training.
The MQA is also responsible for quality certification of competences obtained outside the formal education and training system. Quality assurance includes accreditation of training institutions, registration of trainers as well as accreditation of award courses. MQA approves the quality of both award programmes as well as non-award courses. In general, award courses are delivered face to face and through apprenticeships, whereas in non-award courses teaching and learning is more non-standardised. Nevertheless, both award and non-award programmes are intended to increase employability, aid personal and professional development, promote and strengthen lifelong learning and lead to qualifications.
As the coordinating body for NQF and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), the MQA has registered around 460 training providers (public and private). These providers offer award and non-award TVET programmes. With a view to further consolidating the Mauritian NQF and RPL, the MQA is intensifying its efforts to increase public awareness. There are some issues to be tackled in the future:
- Exploring new funding options for RPL.
- Developing a policy for RPL assessors.
- Registering RPL facilitators in all sectors of the economy.
- Extending RPL to higher levels of the MQF.
Allgoo, K. 2007. The National Qualifications Framework in Context: The Mauritian Experience. Paper delivered at the International Vocational Education and Training Association (IVETA) Conference. Phoenix, MQA.
Allgoo, K. 2010. The Introduction of Recognition of Prior Learning in TVET Mauritius – The Mauritian RPL model. Phoenix, MQA.
Mauritius Qualifications Authority (MQA). Annual Report 2007–2008. Developments in Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). http://www.mqa.mu/English/publications/Pages/Annual%20Reports/Annual-Report-20062007.aspx. (Accessed 12 May 2014).
Mauritius Qualifications Authority