The specifications of the ELI Corps program are based on a needs assessment which was carried out in 2009 to identify the main specificities of the Mauritian education system and the way in which it operates. The needs assessment has allowed us to spot the following loopholes in the Mauritian education system.
First of all, it was found that there is an ever-going growing achievement gap between school children from low-income families as compared to those from wealthier ones. Schoolchildren living in poverty continue to struggle in underfunded schools, while the offspring of the relatively wealthy have a chance to better themselves through better-equipped schools. Astronomical tuition fees is another constraint which contributes to the discrepancy between schoolchildren from low-income families and those from wealthier ones.
Second, it has been observed that in the current Mauritian educational system, the government provides the best educational opportunities to those that score well on the CPE exam. Admission to the best secondary schools in Mauritius means for many the chance of future success. However, 35% of schoolchildren on average fail their CPE exams and consequently fail to integrate mainstream educational institutions, hence limiting their long-term potential and long-term economic and social well-being.
Finally, very often, those schoolchildren who fail their CPE exams are assumed to be less intelligent. The Mauritian system neglects students with weaker verbal and logical intelligence, no matter how intelligent they are in other ways.
Providing a holistic education to underprivileged children
Our goal is to bridge the achievement gap that exists between children poor families and those from wealthier ones by providing a full-fledged education for free to underprivileged children. We give them the opportunity to nurture their passion and discover buried talents. With this approach, we also aim at offering alternative paths to those who don’t perform so well academically.
Integrating underperforming students into the mainstream education system
We help students with school subjects (Mathematics, English, French, Science and History & Geography) by utilizing experiential learning techniques. Our aim is to allow them to find their own motivation to learn the material and to enjoy academic formal education as a passion and activity and not as an obligation or burden. The idea is to make them learn while having fun. We believe that if this can be achieved, the chances of the students succeeding at their examinations will be increased manifold.