Concerns that the education system in Mauritius has not been adequately preparing students for work and life, and unsatisfactory academic achievement in schools, have fuelled the government’s drive to improve the quality of schools. These concerns exist within education structures that systematically segregate students into ‘star’ schools and less desirable schools that curtail the education experience of the majority of Mauritian children. Within this context, Mauritian education authorities have attempted various educational reforms aiming at ‘World Class Quality Education’ so as to contribute to an efficient and dynamic workforce and to meet the needs of an increasingly competitive, knowledge-based and globalised economy. Reflecting the Mauritian government’s ‘quality’ agenda and its focus on the work of school leaders, this article reports the findings of research exploring Mauritian principals’ views about the usefulness or otherwise of Total Quality Management (TQM) principles in raising educational standards. It focuses specifically on whether and how principals are addressing the mounting challenges brought about by globalisation. The findings indicate that, despite the government’s efforts at reforms, the education system detracts from ambitions to adequately prepare all Mauritian children for work and life in a globalised and networked world. The article argues that school leaders need to take proactive responsibility for ensuring that all Mauritian children have access to an education system that cultivates their participation as active citizens of the global community.
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