Mauritius: Early Digital Learning Programme Developing - a New Culture of Learning

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The Early Digital Learning Programme (EDLP) is an innovative national measure, being implemented as part of the ongoing educational reforms to promote ICT mediated pedagogy at school level and is in line with the strategy stated in Budget Speech 2016/2017 "Moving Towards a Fully Fledged Digital Society."

The Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, made this statement on 23 February 2019, in the National Assembly, on the implementation status of the EDLP initiated in 2018 in primary schools of the Republic of Mauritius.

The ELDP, she said, is meant to develop a new culture of learning by ushering in new pedagogies relevant to the digital era and technological world in which our children are called upon to develop. The main objective of the programme, she stated, is to develop digital literacy right at the beginning of the schooling life of the children. Early exposure to the digital tool, as from Grade 1, effectively enhances and transforms the learning experience of pupils and improve pupils' learning outcomes in a timely manner, she added.

The programme, she pointed out, is a joint collaborative venture between Mauritian and India to a total cost of USD 22.4M and added that Mauritius, received a grant assistance of USD 14 M from the Government of India for the realisation of the project. As for the implementation of the programme, she said that it started in 2017, followed by Phase I in Grades 1 and 2 in 2018, and Phase II in Grade 3 in this year.

The ELDP, she said, has involved the distribution of a total of 39 680 tablets to students of Grades 1, 2 and 3, in 258 schools in Mauritius, 17 schools in Rodrigues and 2 schools in Agaléga. The project, she added, makes provision for the installation of accessories such as projectors, screens and rack chargers and also include after sales service for all the tablets and accessories on full warranty for one year and service for two years.

The Minister recalled that more than 1 500 educators have been trained from 2017 to date and that training of staff will be pursued and sustained. The training sessions were organised for Educators of Grades 1, 2 and 3, Headmasters and Deputy Head Masters along with Inspectors and ICT Support Officers, she added.

Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun also said that a Joint Project Monitoring Committee, co-chaired by her Ministry and the Indian High Commission, has been set up to monitor the implementation of EDLP and that her Ministry with support of the World Bank is evaluating the progress achieved for EDLP.

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