Réunion Schools

Figure 1.-- This class photo was in Saint-Denis during 1989. Note the ethnic mix of the children. This may be a private Catholic school, but we are not sure.

Réunion is a French island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. Réunion is now an overseas department of France. The education system is based on the French system. We have only little information on the history of education on the island or schools before World War II. We do not know when public schools were founded. At the time of World War II more than half the population was illiterate. Through the 1970s, only a small fraction of the primary school children went on to secondary school. Réunion children today have access to a first-class education, comparable to schools in mainland France. As a result, the illitracy rate has been substabntially reduced, now less than 10 percent. They begin school at age 6 years. There are 6 years of primary school. Seconary school (lycée) consists of 6-7 years depending on the program. There are also lower secondary schools, called collèges, offering a 4-year general curriculum. Most children attend public schools, but about 10 percent go to private schools. Attitudes toward education vary in the Island's mult-ethnic society. Woekers from Africa were brought to the Island as slaves and later Chinese and Indians came as indentured workets. Families of French, Tamil, Gujarati, and Chinese ancestry reportedlyare particularly suppportive, African families less so. One report suggests that pupils with African and mixed etnic origin who grow up in a family with a single mother, often do not do well in school.


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Created: 7:34 PM 3/1/2013
Last updated: 7:34 PM 3/1/2013