The traditional system of education that has evolved for
centuries composed of three types of institution: Kiyavaage, Makthab,
and Madharsaa. Madharsaa usually expanded the curriculum to include
more subjects such as literacy skills. This system deserves credit
for the high (93% in 1986) literacy rate of The Maldives. Most of
the Makthabs teach the young to read and write Dhivehi and Arabic as
well as simple arithmetic. Continuous research in upgrading the
curriculum goes on. A new national curriculum for primary and middle
schools was designed and introduced in 1984. This curriculum
incorporate environmental studies, science, Dhivehi language,
mathematics, English language, fine arts, physical education and
Due to shortage of qualified teachers there is an on-going teacher
training programme conducted under government auspices. President
Gayoom has made improving the educational system a priority. He is
dedicated to improving education standards, especially at primary
and secondary levels to meet the increased manpower needs of the
country, and to improve teacher training. New schools continue to be
constructed and education expands into the health and sanitation
fields as well as in most areas of social development.
A number of English medium schools prepare older students as London
GCE '0' level candidates. The Science Education Centre, a government
based educational centre, readies students to sit for the London GCE 'A'
level examinations. Maintaining an affiliation to a reputed external
examination system at secondary level, the Government has most
appropriately innovated and introduced a Fisheries Science Programme
into the secondary school, the subject having been offered at GCE '0'
level since 1987.
As is common in other developing nations, students must travel abroad
for a higher education in college or university. In their continuing
efforts to upgrade the educational standards, the Maldives' government
maintains education as a priority.