'Our wealth is our people and the wealth of our people is education and we want to make Mauritius a centre of knowledge', said the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, this morning in Port Louis.
The Prime Minister was addressing the student population of Port Louis State Secondary School (SSS) for Girls at a ceremony for the renaming of the school after Abdul Hamid Goolam Mahomed Issac.
In his speech, Mr Jugnauth recalled that tomorrow the youth, who represents hope and the future, will have the responsibility of the society and the country as a whole. On that score, he pointed out that the vision of Government is to make students become models and ensure that they acquire the necessary knowledge and skills so as to contribute in a positive manner to the progress of the country.
If Mauritius has developed and reached where it is today, it is mainly due to education despite the fact that the country is deprived of natural resources, he said adding that it is important to ensure that money does not become a barrier in a child's education. The Prime Minister recalled that Government is providing subsidies to all children taking up the School Certificate and Higher School Certificate examinations without taking into consideration whether their parents have the means or not. He expressed his satisfaction that the number of scholarships has increased. This is so because we want all children, who make sacrifices and efforts, to learn and succeed, he added.
The Prime Minister also spoke about making the school environment pleasant and offering a holistic education programme by including not only academic subjects but also one which englobes dance, music, theatre, arts and sports. Children have to be taught values and how to live within the society in respect of all communities given the fact Mauritius is a very good example of multiculturalism, he said. He called on parents to take up their responsibility in educating their children as education starts at home.
The Prime Minister paid homage to Mr Abdul Hamid Goolam Mahomed Issac and urged the young people to inspire themselves from the vast contribution he made to Mauritius as well as from his accomplishments.
For her part the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, said that students always come to school to acquire knowledge but learning soft skills and know-how is also necessary and this is the principle that guided Mr Issac. Today the college is being renamed after him and all students must adopt the same principle. According to Mrs Luchoomun-Dookun, Mr Issac demonstrated values and compassion for the most vulnerable groups of the society, he highlighted the importance of education for girls as well as the need to respect one and all and live in harmony.
Mr Issac, born on 11 September 1910, had actively promoted access to education for all and was engaged in ensuring the welfare of educators. He had also contributed considerably in the political, cultural, and social fields. He was a poet, journalist, educator and politician and served as Municipal Councillor and was a Member of Parliament (1959-1963) representing Constituency Port Louis Central. Mr Issac taught English, English Literature, Greek and Latin during several years at Bhujoharry College in Port Louis.
A former student of Royal College of Curepipe, Mr Issac pursued his tertiary education in the UK at Bennett College where he obtained a diploma in journalism. He passed away in 1972.