The Mauritian Miracle – then and now

Dear Professor Stiglitz

Sorry for taking so long to respond to your op-ed on Mauritius. Like many of your academic predecessors, the brevity of your visit earlier this year prevented you looking into the details of the state and history of Mauritius. Please permit me to fill some in.

Although free, universal education was introduced in 1976 in response to student protests, decent education is no longer free in Mauritius. Those who “have” send their children to private schools and those who “have less” pay for private tuition after school and at weekends. The children of those who “have nothing” are severely disadvantaged. Moreover, state tertiary education is largely failing to prepare students for work in call centres so forget about advanced technology.

The same is true of “universal” free, healthcare: those who “have” go to private hospitals, those who “have less” attend private surgeries and purchase medicines from pharmacies, avoiding, like the plague, the state run hospitals and their dubiously sourced pills for those who “have nothing”. For those who need expensive treatment overseas, there is a national lottery. Continue reading