GIS – 17 December, 2013: The Sankoré Seminar – Indian Ocean Free and Open Digital Education, an initiative of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources in collaboration with the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) and the Délégation Interministerielle pour l’Education Numérique en Afrique (DIENA – FRANCE), was held yesterday at the Frank Richard Lecture Theatre, MIE in the presence of the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Dr. Vasant Bunwaree and other personalities.
In his address, Minister Bunwaree stated that the holding of this seminar was particularly appropriate at a time where Mauritius is anchored in an unprecedented expansion phase of the use of Information Technologies in Education. The seminar is thus the culmination of the efforts of all stakeholders, both in Mauritius and elsewhere, who are involved in the project Sankoré, he said, adding that as the project has progressed, Mauritius received the third batch of projectors and as from next year, the project Sankoré will start in vocational training and in Asian languages.
He pointed out that the objective of this event is to promote a synergy among the Indian Ocean countries in education, and the public on the use of new technologies, and in particular on the use of free and open digital resources.
We are indeed living in a changing world, said Dr. Bunwaree, and in less than two decades, floppy disks have become obsolete and conventional airliner tickets have disappeared. Such a development, or a revolution, cannot exist without a major impact on the way we teach in schools.
According to him, the time is ripe for a change of culture at the heart of how children are taught and schools are managed. Our teachers are expected to make increasing use of ICT as a tool, and not only as a subject, stressed the Minister, adding that the goal is not to make textbooks disappear, but to encourage the use of ICT in the home and the school so as to transform learning by making full use of the possibilities offered by digital technology.
ICT in education can actually help reduce disparities in education quality, said Dr. Bunwaree. Consequently, Government will drive a major ICT project in Education in six primary schools in difficult situations. We are fully confident that with increased use of ICT, the performance of those schools will improve, he added.
Since such a project must be accompanied by strong educational content and a pool of trained teachers, the MIE has been mandated to conduct the teacher-training and prepare the contextualized content.
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