A ten-day swimming training course, for under the Holistic Education Programme (swimming in schools), was launched yesterday at Droopnath Ramphul State College, in Pamplemousses. The Programme is a major element of the Nine Year Continuous Basic Education (NYCBE), the reform project for Mauritius' learning sector.
In her address at the event, the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, recalled that the NYCBE, initiated since 2015, emphasises the holistic development of learners. The aim is to offer a comprehensive basic education cycle that provides students with the foundational skills for success in all further learning leading to an empowered 2030 citizenry.
As at now, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun indicated, 526 trainee educators have been enlisted for the holistic development of the child alongside 223 support teachers who are ensuring mediation in schools.
Speaking about the introduction of swimming in schools, the Minister highlighted that it will enable young Mauritians to learn how to swim and be safe in water. In addition, the swimming in schools programme will ensure the holistic development of the child not only in terms of knowledge acquisition but also with regards to the physical, mental and emotional development of learners, she pointed out. This is due to the fact that the NYCBE also englobes a health and wellness programme with focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of the child, she added.
As regards the ten-day swimming training course, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun highlighted the importance to give trainee educators the appropriate support in learning swimming techniques to in turn impart this know-how to children. Moreover, this training complements the one offered by the Mauritius Institute of Education, and a continuous professional development programme, at the level of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, will be provided leading towards the setting up of an educator's Academy, she said.
For his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, while lauding the reform in the education sector, emphasised that now trainee educators are being entrusted with an important task which relates to making children become responsible citizens by inculcating them with values. These values also involve encouraging children to take up physical activities and adopt a sports culture so as to lead a healthy lifestyle, he stated.
Furthermore, the Minister spoke of the need for all stakeholders to work collaboratively and have a smooth working synergy. Accordingly, a National Sports and Physical Activity Policy was launched recently highlighting the importance of teamwork to ensure progress, he remarked.
Swimming training course
The 500 trainee educators are being trained across the four Education zones of Mauritius, in different swimming pools namely at: Souvenir Swimming Pool, Calebasses; Mare d'Albert; Rivière du Rempart; Pavillion swimming pool in Quatre Bornes; and, Big Splash swimming pool in Esperance Trébuchet.
Resource persons are swimming coaches from the Mauritius Sports Council, a body which falls under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The training programme is both theoretical and practical covering different aspects related to swimming such as life-saving and awareness of water safety.