Supporting The Public Sector of Mauritius
Public spending on education was 3.7 per cent of GDP in 2010. There are 12 years of compulsory education starting at the age of five. Primary school comprises six years and secondary seven. There are private schools available at both primary and secondary levels with examples including Alexandra House School, a private primary day school following the British curriculum, and Northfields International High School, one of the country’s leading independent private schools. Some 97 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2010). Education is free at the primary and secondary levels, partly subsidised at the pre-primary level and heavily subsidised at the tertiary level.
A review of tertiary education in 2009–10 found a rapidly expanding sector with some 42,260 students attending 61 institutions, 11 of which are publicly funded. The sector centres on the University of Mauritius, but there are several other providers, including Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Medical College. The female–male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 1.30:1 (2011). Literacy among people aged 15–24 is 97 per cent (2010).
In January 2009, the Ministry of Education’s project From Individual to Community: Quality Teaching in Mauritius was selected as a finalist in the 2009 Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards.
Public spending on health was five per cent of GDP in 2010. Patterns of illness and death are shifting to those of a developed country, with longer life expectancy and a rising incidence of lifestyle diseases. Infant mortality was 16 per 1,000 live births in 2011 (134 in 1960).
Health provision includes the national hospital in Apia, the four district hospitals and the many health centres. Medical care standards in Mauritius are high and there are several private clinics.
In a joint venture with British American Investment Co (Mauritius), the Apollo Hospitals Group – Asia’s largest health care group – set up the Apollo Bramwell Hospital, a multi-specialty facility, in Moka in 2009.
The Mauritius Institute of Health organises the training of health personnel and carries out health systems research. Most medical training is undertaken at the Fiji School of Medicine.
There are currently two local private companies that manufacture pharmaceutical products in Mauritius: Mascareignes Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Co and Mauritius Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Co. The Pharmacy Board, under the regulation of the Pharmacy Act 1983, is responsible for regulating pharmaceutical practices.
There are 2,020 km of roads, all paved, including at least 30 km of motorways and 940 km of main roads. There is no railway.
Ports: Port Louis is the main harbour and only commercial port. Facilities include a container terminal and terminals for the bulk handling of sugar, oil, wheat and cement. There are a few small private ferry companies operating on the island.
Airports: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport at Plaisance is in the south-east of the island, some 50 km from Port Louis. The airport is owned and operated by Airports of Mauritius Co, in which the Government of Mauritius is a major shareholder. There is an airstrip at Plaine Corail on Rodrigues receiving a daily service from Mauritius.