Government's commitment towards ensuring social and emotional well-being of the student community was highlighted today by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. He was addressing Head boys and Head girls of colleges from different zones at the Polytechnics Mauritius in Montagne Blanche. The Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, was also present.
In his keynote address, the Prime Minister underlined that the Mauritian youth will be called upon to assume major roles in reshaping the nation's future and contribute to the socio-economic development of the country. He emphasised the importance for the youth to discover their capabilities and unlock their potentials in various fields. It is therefore essential to them with life-long learning opportunities and equip them with skills for life, he added.
With regards to the relevance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Mr Jugnauth stated that career pathways in these fields should be highly encouraged in order to keep pace with emerging technologies. It is only a modern and a holistic education system that will help young people derive optimal benefits and increase their employability on the job market, he added.
The Prime Minister underscored that the various reforms in the education and training sector are in line with Sustainable Development Goal 4 which aims at ensuring an inclusive and equitable quality education. Free tertiary education, Nine-Year Basic Continuous Education Programme, introduction of Holistic Education Programme, Afterschool Sports and Fitness Programme and Emotional and Social Well-being Programme, he said, are few examples of reforms brought in a bid to ensure the positive overall development of learners.
Speaking of social evils such as juvenile delinquency, drug scourge and the misuse of internet, the Prime Minister urged the youth to seek advice and guidance from their elders and parents as well as make judicious choices at the different stages of their life. On this score, he highlighted that the Head boys and Head girls have a major responsibility to play in guiding vulnerable students and set good examples.
For her part, Minister Dookun-Luchoomun pointed out that Government is working towards creating conducive conditions whereby the youth are provided with values promoting their personal growth, enhancing their critical thinking and encouraging them to innovate. A panoply of activities and programmes, she said, have been introduced as a means to further develop the competencies and skills of students.
She encouraged the youth to nurture core values, namely hard work, self-respect, tolerance for others and respect for family values. She also highlighted the contribution of educators as enablers for the youth to acquire knowledge and evaluate their self-development process.