The Maldives has a functional literacy rate of 98%, which is the highest in the South Asia and Indian Ocean region. Educational standards are also among the highest in the region and schools follow the British system of education. English language is used as the medium of instruction in most schools; however, there are schools that provide Arabic and Islamic education specifically.
The Ministry of Education aims to further enhance existing educational facilities and services so that every Maldivian will have access to quality primary and secondary education and hence increased scope for higher education and training. The education system of the country is designed such that it will foster religious and cultural values though the curricula are based on external examinations that would enable Maldivian students to avail themselves to educational, training and employment opportunities both nationally and internationally.
A milestone in educational services was reached with the establishment of the Maldives College of Higher Education – MCHE in 1998. Maldivian students now have the prospect of post secondary education (from diplomas to bachelor’s degrees in certain areas) at the many faculties functioning under the MCHE.
In early 2011 Maldives National University was formed by collaborating and upgrading all the faculties of the then Maldives College of Higher Education.