Education in Maldives

Joined Commonwealth: 1982

Population: 338,000 (2012)

GDP p.c. growth: 5.8% p.a. 1990–2011

UN HDI 2012: World ranking 104

Net primary enrolment: 94.6% (2011)

Gross tertiary enrolment: 13.0% (2008)

Adult literacy: 98.4% (2006)

Public spending on education was 7 per cent of GDP in 2011.

The ministry charged with administering the education sector of the country is the Ministry of Education. Its aim is to give every Maldivian access to quality primary and secondary education with widening opportunities for higher education and training. It aims to provide an education which maximises individual potential while at the same time instill religious and cultural values that will foster social unity and harmony and allow them to become international citizens.

There are seven years of compulsory education starting at the age of six. Primary school comprises seven years and secondary five, with cycles of three and two years. All administrative atolls have government primary schools and an education centre providing education for all age groups. Most of the many private schools receive state subsidies and are run by the community. The school year starts in January.

The Maldives National University was established in 1999, with its main campus in Malé (as Maldives College of Higher Education), to provide post-secondary education leading to diplomas and bachelor’s degrees. It was inaugurated as a university in February 2011. The College of Islamic Studies, in Malé, offers continuing education, diploma and degree courses in Islamic studies; the Centre for Higher Secondary Education, in Malé, offers GCE A-Level courses for those aiming to attend universities abroad; and the Centre for Continuing Education, in Malé, is a professional institute with a mandate to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the Maldives.