Primary and Secondary education is compulsory and free in government schools. The general population literacy rate is 90% and French and English are taught as primary languages at school. There is a strong parental commitment to education and an increasing awareness of the need for Tertiary education for skilling the younger generation of Mauritians in the requirements of the modern world. More recently, the number of mainland African students attending tertiary education in Mauritius has increased substantially, solidifying the view of Mauritius as a respected model of education within Africa.
The British administration, which began with Sir Robert Farquhar as Governor , led to rapid social and economic changes. However, it was tainted by the Ratsitatane episode. Ratsitatane, nephew of King Radama of Madagascar, was brought to Mauritius as a political prisoner. He managed to escape from prison and plotted a rebellion that would free the island's slaves. He was betrayed by an associate and was caught by the British forces, summarily judged, and condemned to death. He was beheaded at Plaine Verte on 15 April 1822, and his head was displayed as a deterrent against future uprisings among the slaves. 
Africa is a continent, not a single country - a fact many outsiders forget. It has 54 countries and 5 time zones. Political conditions vary and, although growth rates have been rising across Africa, individual economies differ widely in both their performance and prospects. Whilst urbanisation is taking hold, communities still cling proudly to their rural traditions and most Africans, especially women, are still employed in agriculture. Across the continent, as many as 3,000 different languages are spoken, with 500 in Nigeria alone.