Delivered on 18 June 2018
Delivered by H.E. Dr Hala Hameed, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Maldives to the United Nations Office at Geneva
Thank you, Mr. President,
The Maldives recognizes the importance of providing quality education to the children and youth of our country and that is why our Constitution provide the right to education without discrimination of any kind where free primary and secondary education is provided by the State.
Further, significant changes have been made to the education system which has increased engagement of vulnerable groups. A noteworthy change is the expansion of the technical vocational stream into the general education system where mostly the disaffected and disengaged groups are provided with an alternative to what is offered in the mainstream.
One of the most important and significant pledges of the government has been the ‘no child left behind’ policy where each and every child is tracked via a stringent attendance policy and if any child is not engaged in learning, they are given the appropriate intervention for re-engagement.
Over the past four years, through opportunities provided by the Government, enrolment in tertiary education has risen from 19% to 32% The strides we have made, is due to how far we have come as a nation. The Maldives, with a 99% national literacy rate, provides 14 years of free schooling, with absolute gender parity in our classrooms.
We introduced timely innovative steps to overcome the challenges to provide equal opportunities for education for children in the remotest islands where population is as low as a few thousands. In these islands, virtual classroom set-ups are linked to schools in the Capital Male’, making it possible for all children to have access to education.
The Maldives is also at the forefront of integration of technology into our classrooms and today, each student has been provided with an electronic tablet as a resource in the classrooms across the country.