The traditional style of education in the Maldives used to be learning basic Arabic, Dhivehi, basic arithmetic, and the recitation of Quran. In early days, education was provided in ‘Kiyavaages’ and ‘Makthabs’ where children learned the ability to read and write ‘Dhivehi’, the mother tongue of Maldivians. The main focus of these educational establishments was to teach children Quran.
‘Kiyavaages’ and ‘Makthabs’ evolved to ‘Madhrasas’ which included teaching additional subjects. Educational in the Maldives is not compulsory. The traditional education system is now greatly replaced by the British system of education with the establishment of primary and secondary schools. The literacy rate of Maldives is one of the highest in the world (98%) and the educational standards are highest in the region.
Primary education lasts five years and starts at the age of 7. Secondary education begins at age 12 and lasts for 5 years as well. Completion of secondary education prepares students to sit for the London GCE ‘O’ levels examinations. Higher secondary education is available in a government establishment in Male’ after which candidates get ready for the London GCE ‘A’ level exams.
Aminiya School: One of the high schools in the capital city
Education, which was primarily concentrated in Male’, the capital city is now extended throughout all parts of the country. Establishment of Atoll schools in the Maldives has provided a nationwide access to education. As there are no universities in the Maldives, Maldivians have to travel to other countries to obtain higher education. The Maldivian government is continuously making an effort to improve educational standards in Maldivian schools. In these efforts, the Maldivian government is making large investments in secondary, vocational and higher secondary education.
Education is a high priority in the Maldives. The establishment of Maldives College of higher education has widened the opportunity for Maldivians to obtain higher education in the Maldives. The college offers various certificates, diploma and degree level courses.