Plunge in youth pursuit of higher education “worrying” say education officials

Recent statistics from the Education Ministry show that only six percent of Maldivian youth aged between 17 to 25 are pursuing higher education.

The statistic comes from two reports on higher education, which are currently being compiled with assistance from the World Bank and the United States. The first report is investigating the status of higher education in the Maldives, as well as plans for its improvement. The second report is examining financial assistance.

Maldives National University Chancellor Dr Mustafa Luthfy said that six percent is “a worrisome number.”

“If they are qualified enough to go into a higher institution, they should,” he said. It was not difficult to find a public college in the Maldives, Luthfy noted, although he acknowledged that private institutions were costly.

The challenging transition between grades 7 and 8 is one explanation for the dropout rate, said Luthfy. He added that if students were unable to keep up with secondary school material, then they would not be able to get into higher institutions.

“We have to be very very careful about criticizing enrollment,” Luthfy said. “If we are going to offer more degree-level courses, we need students who achieve higher A and O levels in high school.”

A recent Juvenile Justice Report suggests a correlation between academic success and relationships with a parent or guardian. Juvenile Justice records say that of the offenders reported between April 1 and June 30 this year, 95 percent dropped out in 8th or 9th grade, and few lived with parents or guardians.

When asked if this contributed to low enrollments in higher education, Luthfy replied that “schools and parents are working very hard to improve the quality of education, and improve graduation rates.

“The Maldives has a small population, we want everyone to be an educated person,” he said.

O-level results for 2010 improved on previous years, with particular gains in science subjects, however the pass rate for the 6700 who sat the international standardised high school exams was 35 percent – up from 32 percent in 2009, and 27 percent in 2008.

Most major subjects showed a positive trend in results except for arts, geography and history, Deputy Education Minister Dr Abdulla Nazeer stold Minivan News at the time, “subjects which are only taken by a few students.”


9 thoughts on “Plunge in youth pursuit of higher education “worrying” say education officials”

  1. do you expect the country to progress when the education system has become the biggest business? do you expect productivity from students by promoting them from grade to grade even when their standards are below 'U' category do you expect students to mature when parents/religion conflicts with realty of life? Do you know hundred od boys and girls in secondary are not allowed computers to learn simply because of some religious belief and fear! do you expect the education standard to improve when 80% of the teachers are sub standard, did not do Cambridge syllabus, and most cant even speak proper English?
    ...Presdent Nasheed and less than 30 other Maldivians have a degree in economics...may be 2 Maldivians have a degree in history and we dont even have anyone with expertise to preseve our language and culture because we simply force children into science subjects...
    ...a few rich, fortunate families can afford good education but what we have today in Male is sheer fakeness and opportunity for people to make money.
    ...tution fee is RF1500/- per subject today from a teacher who do tuitions from 1500hrs - 2200hrs..and we all, including the ministry allow this to happen may get a diploma or a degree in Male but it wouldnt even give you a part time job in Bangladesh or Timbaktu. Of course no jobs in Maldives in the near because
    a)we have indians managing finance and purchasing
    b)indonesian-thai handling all other services (spa, waitresses) and Hr
    c) europeans on top helm
    d) sri lankans always in the bar
    e) bangladeshis for had labor and coconut climbers
    f) maldivians???? -the best young maldivians have police records so they cannot be employed

    start from the grassroots please...we dont need universities with cheap 1st degree lecturers, we want our children to have the mind to think and use common sense. Gosh! stop this nonsense

  2. its great that they now have an official report that says maldive youths pursuit in higher education is a mere 6% rate. at this rapid day and information age, the traditional teaching system dosent apply anymore. radical thinking is needed. actually we need actions than citing words.

    we already know education is declined. this is not the time to point fingers and call out. its time to make changes. emphasis the youth with the value of education.

    president have "carbon neutral" plan and showed the world with stunts. that is good, but for such a small country thats nearly visible on the world map, carbon neutral is not the priority first. however education can be. if only the president would do such stunts involving education it would be beneficial.

    i really worry for the country, i guess anyone would - all we see are leaders with their own compass and roadmaps. maldives dosent have followers, everyone is a leader and thats where the problem lies.

    change is inevitable

  3. priority is carbon neutral, opening up country for citizenship, other religions, selling off all our land , reefs, waters to foreigners 10,000 houses (way over the real need) and ignore health and education

  4. Well, what do you expect? Since the month of Ramadan began, the dedicated youth channel "Youth TV" has been on a loop broadcasting nothing but the Qur'an. Either call the channel by the name it deserves 'Maldives Qur'an Channel', or make some programmes for the youth that will educate them and help them in this life rather than one that simply prepares them for the afterlife.

  5. This problem has deeper underlying issues. Maldives's main industry is tourism, but we should ask, how parents dream their children's to become executive chefs or general managers at our resorts. i don't think there are many. Why do we send our kids to study IT, interior design or marketing abroad? to do what, if they don't want to join the main industry that is in this country.

    This higher education figure is reflective of our country's overall lack of vision and mission for our kids. we should target all our education effort to cater to the industry by creating suitable maldivians for top jobs there. If we don't want our kids to be part of tourism, there is no reason to study any further.

    rather loathe at home, living off the parents.

  6. There is no point in wasting time in higher education when Maldivian businesses and Government prefers foreigners as professionals. The top management in businesses and gov are mostly insecure about taking advice from Maldivians.

  7. Talks of 'positive trends' and good O/L stats by the deputy Minister is all well and good on TV but how come most school leavers are either unemployed or on drugs? And why would you go for higher education or even to school, if there is no decent job prospects.

    Truth of the matter is that there is no link between education 'policy' and what the rest of the country needs. At the moment, the education system is churning out troubled youth, who brings nothing but chaos - which probably is all the kids LEARNED from School.

    Are kids taught just for statistics or to prepare them for employment? Does Education Ministry base its policies on the job market or economic needs? Does education Ministry ever consult with other Ministries? If the youth are dismayed, it should not be a surprise..

  8. Agrre with most of the comments here! Education Ministry could be more proactive in studying the needs of the job market so that students could be guided towards the jobs available and compete with foreigners for the top jobs! The GOM, Industry and private sector need to learn to trust and believe Maldivians are capable of doing skilled and professional jobs! Someone also need to publish the statistic of Maldivians working overseas, who are really the qualified professionals.

  9. Some of the issues raised by John Major are correct. Too much dependence on expatriates is harming job prospects of the locals who are turning to religion thinking that it will alleviate their miseries.

    There is nothing wrong in bringing teachers from abroad as long as they fulfil our expectations. As for tuitions, they should be regulated (not stopped). Some job oriented vocational courses like jounalism, media, ticketing, printing should be taught.


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